Are you ready to take the next step in a relationship? Maybe you’re hesitating because you or your partner (or both of you) have children. This can be a tough road to navigate. I recently had a wonderful conversation with Dr. Connie Clark about how stepfathers can bond with their stepchildren. Here are some of the main pointers we discussed.
Acceptance takes time. This is a lesson that is important to remember when it comes to stepfathers and their stepchildren. Dr. Connie Clark, author of Understanding and Loving Your Bonus Child, emphasizes the importance of taking a step back:
EP5 – Connie Clark – Men want to jump into blended parenting a little too quickly
Speaking of taking a step back, let’s start at the beginning of a new relationship; How long should you wait before you introduce the kids to the person you are dating?
EP5 – Connie Clark – How many dates before you introduce yourself to their kids?
Communication is also key when it comes to building relationships with stepchildren. Dr. Clark suggests that it is important to set realistic expectations from the beginning, for example, letting the children know that it is okay if not everyone likes each other.
It is natural for stepfathers to want to step in and take control of the situation, but it is important to remember that the children are going through a lot of transition and need time to adjust. It is also important to remember that even if the stepfather and stepchildren don’t like each other right away, they should still treat each other with respect.
EP5 – Connie Clark – You don’t have to like each other right away
When it comes to acceptance, it is important to remember that it’s a long process. Stepfathers should be patient and allow the children to get used to the new family dynamic. It can be difficult to be slow down and not try to grasp at control of the situation, but it is important to remember that acceptance takes time. With patience and understanding, stepfathers and stepchildren can develop strong, loving relationships.
EP5 – Connie Clark – How long will it take for my bonus kids to accept me?
It is also important for stepfathers to remember that children are always watching. They are looking for mistakes and waiting for the opportunity to point them out. Stepfathers should be conscious of this and strive to be consistent with their words and actions.
EP5 – Connie Clark – Avoiding negative self-talk
You can hear the whole interview with Dr. Connie Clark about Understanding and Loving Your Bonus Child in the latest Manly With Andy Podcast.
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