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How can I handle any challenges that arise from having stepchildren who are resistant or reluctant to accepting me as a stepparent?


Hello everyone,

I'm a new member here and I'm seeking advice on how to navigate the challenges that arise from having stepchildren who are resistant or reluctant to accepting me as a stepparent.

I recently got married to a wonderful man who has two children from his previous marriage. While my husband and I have a great relationship, his kids seem to be struggling with the idea of having a new parent in their lives. They've made it clear that they don't want me to interfere in their lives and often talk back to me or ignore me when I try to talk to them.

I really want to have a positive relationship with them and be a part of their lives but I don't know how to break the ice and get them to accept me as a stepparent. I'm feeling overwhelmed and unsure on how to proceed.

Has anyone dealt with similar situations before? Any tips or advice on how to handle this would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you.

All Replies


Hello everyone,

I understand how tough it can be to manage reluctant stepchildren. My husband and I got married last year, and I became a stepparent to his two children who were not very welcoming initially. It was challenging, but I learned a few things that helped me manage the situation.

Here are a few tips from my experience:

1. Be yourself: Don't try too hard to please the children at the expense of what feels right for you. Be yourself, be genuine and authentic - children will sense if you are being fake.

2. Respect boundaries: Your keenness to form a new relationship with your stepchildren may collide with their need for time and space. Give them the space and the time they need, respect their boundaries and don't be too pushy.

3. Encourage quality time with your partner: Developing a good relationship with your partner's children can be stressful at times. Take some time off to build comfortability with your partner to enhance your mental state and happiness.

4. Find common ground: Attempt to find shared interests, hobbies, or activities that you have in common. This process will establish the foundation of your relationship with your stepchildren, and they will begin to see you as a friend.

5. Seek professional advice: Sometimes you may need professional help to deal with the challenges of engaging reluctant stepchildren. Consider working with a therapist or counselor who has experience working with blended families.

In summary, managing reluctant stepchildren is not an easy task, but it is achievable. Be patient, genuine and give the children space to come around on their own time. Remember that respect, empathy, and patience are significant tools for building positive relationships in blended families.

All the best!



I completely understand what you mean. Being a step-parent is not always an easy task, especially if the kids don't seem to warm up to the idea.

From my personal experience, here are some things I did that helped me navigate the situation:

1. Show compassion: It is crucial to show genuine interest and care for the children, and acknowledge the fact that it might take time for them to accept you. Showing empathy and compassion can help build a bond of trust with them.

2. Build rapport: Try to get to know the kids on a personal level, such as their hobbies, interests, and dislikes. This helps break down any walls they might have around them.

3. Respect their feelings: It's essential to acknowledge their feelings and understand their point of view. Even if you don't agree with them, showing empathy and respect for their perspectives can help build a positive environment.

4. Establish boundaries: Setting clear boundaries on what's acceptable and what's not can be helpful for the whole family, including the children. This can help in establishing a sense of security and clarity.

5. Involve them in family events: Be sure to include them in family activities such as game nights, family dinners, camping trips, and other events. This can help them feel included and part of the family unit.

Overall, my advice would be to be patient, compassionate, and persistent. Forming a bond with step-children can take time, but it's worth it in the end.

I wish you all the best in your journey!


Hello everyone,

I can completely understand what you're going through. I was once in a similar situation when I became a stepparent to my husband's two children. It was not an easy experience, but over time, we were able to build a positive and healthy relationship.

Here are some things that worked for me:

1. Positive Attitude: It's important to approach the situation with positivity - show enthusiasm and interest in them, be present in their lives, lend an ear, and try to always show your love for them.

2. Respect their feelings: Understand that the rejection by your stepchildren may be coming from a place of fear, confusion, or uncertainty. Show respect to these feelings and try to communicate with them by asking questions, listening, and not judging them.

3. Celebrate their interests: Find a shared interest and celebrate it. It could be music, sports, or maybe goofy movies – whatever it is, finding similarities can make the journey easier and more enjoyable.

4. Seek out support: Talk to other stepparents who have gone through similar experiences, join groups or attend events that are stepparent specific. Getting to know other stepparents can help you find new ideas and ways to navigate your situation.

5. Make time for yourself and your partner: Parenting can be stressful, especially when you're new at it. Make time for yourself and your partner to reconnect and recharge, take a walk, go to the movies or try something new. That way, you'll always show up as the best version of yourself.

In conclusion, being a stepparent is not always an easy task, but with patience, love, and understanding, you can build a positive relationship with your stepchildren. Always keep in mind that respect, positivity, and consistency are the crucial components required for building a strong bond with your stepchildren.

Wishing you all the best of luck!


Hello everyone,

I have been a stepparent for five years, and I can relate to the challenges of having stepchildren who are resistant to accepting a new parent in their lives. Although difficult, there are a few things that helped me navigate the challenges:

1. Don't take it personally: It's essential to understand that a child's reluctance to accept a new stepparent does not necessarily reflect on you as an individual. Many factors can contribute to this reluctance, such as loyalty to their biological parent and fear of change.

2. Be patient: Building a positive relationship with stepchildren takes time and effort. Don't expect immediate results, and be prepared to invest a great deal of time and energy into bridging the gap between you and your stepchildren.

3. Try to understand their behavior: Children react to situations differently, and sometimes, they may not have the words to express their feelings. Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand how they're feeling.

4. Show them love and respect: As a stepparent, it's important to treat your stepchildren with kindness and respect. Show them affection and reassure them that you care about them and want to be a positive part of their lives.

5. Communicate with your partner: Good communication between you and your partner is also essential. Together, you can develop a strategy that works for both of you in navigating the process of building a positive relationship with your stepchildren.

Ultimately, the journey of a stepparent is unique and challenging. Remember that every situation is different, and there is no "right" way to navigate it successfully. However, with patience, understanding, and persistence, you can develop a strong and positive relationship with your stepchildren.

I hope these tips from my experience help you on your own journey. Best of luck!


Hello everyone,

I completely understand how you feel, I had a similar experience during my initial stage of becoming a stepparent. The children were adamant and unwilling to accept me as their new parent. As time passed, things got better. Here is what worked for me:

1. Open Communication: Having an open line of communication with the kids help to build trust and ease tension. Ask questions that genuinely involve them, show enthusiasm in their hobbies, schoolwork and progress, and look out for signs of enthusiasm in you from their end.

2. Show support: Show support by being there for your stepchildren, attend their games, plays, recitals, or any other activity they participate in. Show genuine curiosity and appreciation for their choices, especially when it comes to positive decisions.

3. Be consistent: Establishing consistency in what you say and do can help kids feel more secure and respected. You don't have to change the way you behave and act with them every time you’re with them. If you show the same care, empathy, and understanding every time, it makes it more comfortable for them to accept you.

4. Steer away from discipline for some time: As a step-parent, it is necessary to avoid becoming a disciplinarian. Instead, let the biological parent take the lead in discipline matters if the step-child will not respond positively to you.

5. Be patient: The bond between a stepparent and a stepchild can take time to form, so being patient is essential. It may take months, if not years, to establish an excellent connection with them.

Finally, working on becoming a stepparent is not a straightforward journey, but patience and persistence pay off in the end. Remember always to show care and love, support their goals, and avoid trying to be someone you are not.

I hope these tips help in your journey of becoming a remarkable stepparent.


Hi there,

I can totally relate to your situation, as I had a similar experience when I became a stepparent to my husband's two children from his previous marriage. Initially, things were quite difficult, and both the kids were resistant to accepting me as their new parental figure.

However, I didn't let this discourage me, and I tried my best to build a positive relationship with them. Here are a few things that worked for me:

1. Take things slow: It's essential to understand that building trust and respect takes time. So, don't try to force a relationship with the kids, and give them space to get to know you at their own pace.

2. Communicate with your partner: It's crucial to have open and honest communication with your partner about boundaries, expectations, and how to navigate difficult situations together.

3. Be patient: Keep in mind that children often deal with a range of emotions during a transition, and it's not always easy for them to adjust. So, try to stay calm and patient, even when things get challenging.

4. Focus on the positive: Look for opportunities to bond with the children, such as activities that you all enjoy or shared interests. Celebrate their milestones and achievements and praise them for their positive qualities.

5. Seek professional help: Consider seeking professional help if things continue to be challenging or if the children are struggling to adjust to the new family dynamic.

Remember, building a positive relationship with stepchildren takes time, effort, and patience. So, don't give up, and keep working towards building a strong and healthy relationship with them.

I hope this helps, and wishing you all the best!


Hi there,

I've been a stepparent to my partner's two children for over three years now, and although my experience has been mostly positive, we have also faced some challenges along the way.

Here are some tips based on my personal experience on how to handle stepchildren who are resistant to accepting you as their stepparent:

1. Respect their relationship with their biological parent: Children can be protective of their relationship with their biological parent, and a step-parent should never try to replace them. Acknowledge the children’s bond with their biological parent, and encourage them to nurture that relationship.

2. Focus on building a friendship: In the early stages of any relationship, it's important to build a foundation. Try to establish a sense of friendship with your stepchildren by showing interest in their lives and listening to their concerns.

3. Be consistent: Consistency is key when it comes to building a relationship with your stepchildren. Show up for events, ask about their day, and be consistent in your behavior towards them.

4. Don't force it: Trying to force a relationship with your stepchildren will only make them more resistant. Take the time to build trust and respect, which will lead to a deeper connection over time.

5. Seek professional help: If the resistance from your stepchildren is particularly strong or difficult to handle, it may be necessary to seek the help of a professional, such as a therapist who specializes in blended families.

In summary, being a stepparent is a challenging role, and developing a positive relationship with stepchildren takes time and patience. Remember, these children have their own experiences, and your goal is to understand them and build trust and respect gradually.

Good luck on your journey!


Hello everyone,

I can relate to the challenges of being a stepparent to resistant children. I became a stepparent to a child with a particularly difficult past that made it challenging to connect with them at first.

Here are some strategies from my experience:

1. Respect their boundaries: Building a positive relationship with a resistant child is not easy, forcing yourself on them will only make things worse. Respect their boundaries and take things slowly. Don't push too hard too soon.

2. Be patient: Building positive relationships with children takes time. Getting to know your stepchildren and earning their trust will take time; don't expect that you can achieve it overnight.

3. Show genuine interest: Show genuine interest in their lives, their hobbies, and their struggles. Ask questions, listen to what they have to say, and show them that you really care.

4. Practice empathy: Try to see things from their perspective. It may be easier to connect when you understand their feelings and motivations better.

5. Accept their feelings: It's okay if they do not welcome you right away or even after a while. Their feelings should be respected, and you should try to understand where they are coming from.

Remember to be patient, empathetic, and show genuine interest in your stepchildren's lives. Seek the help of your partner to build a strategy together to establish a strong bond with your stepchildren.

Best of luck to all of you who are navigating the challenges of step-parenting!

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