- 1). Talk to your significant other about the children and the relationship that you wish to have with them. Your partner knows the children better than you do and may provide info on what the children have said regarding your presence in their lives. You need your partner's help in building a positive relationship with the step kids.
- 2). Learn about the children by talking to them and discussing them with other people who know them well. Listen to the kids and pay attention to what their interests are and what their general personalities are like.
- 3). Spend time with the stepchildren along with your partner. Your partner's presence makes these group activities less stressful since your partner handles things such as discipline early on and you get to socialize with the kids without the added responsibility of "playing parent."
- 4). Think about what you say before you say it. Never make promises that you can't keep and follow through on things that you say you'll do. The step kids need to trust your word for them to respect you and a single lapse damages that trust.
- 5). Set guidelines and stick to them. While your partner should be the disciplinarian between the two of you, there are unacceptable behaviors that you shouldn't tolerate. For example, if a stepchild calls you a name or curses at you, address it immediately and establish that such behavior has negative consequences. If you're a doormat, you won't have a good relationship with the children.
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