Trying to Impress your Step Child
Some stepparents try to win the affection of their stepchildren by plying them with extravagant gifts, and while such displays may impress the kids in the short term, it is only by working to develop a genuine connection that stepparents will truly be able to earn the love of their spouse’s children.The things that really leave an impression on children relate to how they feel that they are perceived and whether or not they feel loved and appreciated.
Avoiding the Temptation to ExaggerateWhen a stepparent first meets their partner’s kids, it is perfectly normal that they may be a bit nervous about the children’s reaction. It is important that the kids like their parent’s partner, which can make it tempting for the adult to say or do things that may be out of character for them in the hope that they will make a good impression on the kids. Unfortunately, this tactic rarely works and instead of improving their status with the children, being phony is likely to give the kids the feeling that their stepparent is not trustworthy. It is far better for stepparents to present themselves in a realistic light, allowing the children to get to know them and make their own judgments.
Gifts GaloreMost people enjoy getting gifts, but there is no need to shower stepchildren with material things in order to win their affection. That’s not to say that children do not like being indulged once in a while, but it is not even close to being the most important thing that stepparents can do to win the hearts of their step-kids.
Children have an innate sense of truth and can readily spot insincerity, so stepparents cannot substitute oodles of gifts for genuine interest and get away with it. Children need caring and attention, both of which require more time than money, and true bonds develop gradually over a period of time. As much as stepparents may want their stepchildren to take an instant liking to them, patience and consistency are required.
Making a Genuine ImpressionSo if gifts and outings aren’t in order, what does it take to impress children? The answer is quite simple. Kids who feel that their stepparents have a true interest in getting to know them and wish to be a part of their lives will be impressed. Kids who feel appreciated will be impressed. Stepparents who pass out hugs and sincere compliments will impress their step-kids, as will those who celebrate the kids’ triumphs and offer a shoulder when things don’t go their way.
Parenting is a long-term commitment with its share of ups and downs, so when they take on the role of parents, stepparents need to be prepared to make themselves available to meet the needs of their families for years to come. Small children have very specific needs, as do older kids, teens, and even adult stepchildren.A parent’s job is never really done, as they strive to provide their children with love, guidance, and support, all throughout their lives, and stepparents, who stand with their spouses and welcome the joys and responsibilities of parenthood, take on that role too, knowing how difficult it can sometimes be. Now that’s impressive!