The last blog discussed how much time may be necessary for a child to create bonds with a new step-parent and how that relationship should not be rushed. This blog will further discuss this bonding and the factors that can speed up or slow down the development of a step-parent and child relationship.
The first exception to a delay in relationship building would be when a very young child does not see their biological parent for whatever reason. When this child is raised without existing bonds with their biological parent, these factors can speed up the bonding experience with a new step parent.
While being patient and waiting for a relationship to build is important, it does not mean that there is nothing you can do in the meantime. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure a healthy transition:
- Try not to expect instant results, you may end up feeling discouraged.
- Consider the idea that you are an adult “friend” initially, instead of a parent. This may help keep such a slow process in check.
- Try not to compare or idealize children. Favoritism should be avoided and differences between children should be celebrated.
- Try not to expect yourself to love your partner’s child immediately. Relationships need time to develop.
- Also, recognize that a younger child will be more likely to accept a step-parent, but they will also have more day-to-day needs to address. A child over the age of ten can often be more resistant and will need more time to bond.
- Try to show respect towards the co-parent regardless of how you feel about them. Being friendly or at least civil can help to minimize outside stress.
Even with this advice, it is important to acknowledge that all families are different and will bond in different ways. For help navigating the divorce process, click here to read about your Hillsboro Oregon divorce attorney.