Stepdaughter Relationship Tips: Parenting stepchildren is not easy. When they hate you, or worse still, you don’t like them, it makes the relationship harder to navigate. It takes time to make things work, some may be shorter, while for others, it takes much longer.
You find yourself in the middle of different lifestyles, habits, practices, and emotions, making it hard for you to navigate through the role of a stepparent. Why do you hate your child, and how can you overcome it?
Why The Dislike
When you step into a new space, you are likely to develop defense mechanisms. One is to build a hedge around yourself and repel anyone who seems to get into your personal space. The dislike could also arise due to your stepdaughter’s behaviors towards you.
Your relationship with the father and mother could also make you dislike the girl. It is crucial to take time to understand why you dislike your stepdaughter and come up with a workable solution.
Tips On How To Improve Your Relationship And Stepdaughter
Get To understand your stepdaughter
Dealing with divorce or death is hard for adults but could be worse for kids. They take time to process loss, anger, and change. Some can’t even understand what is happening to their emotions and behavior. Give the girl time to process grief and accept you in her life. It is unreasonable to expect a child to love and treat you as the biological parent without testing and proving your love for them.
You may want to seek therapy if things are getting out of hand. You could do it alone or with your spouse and stepdaughter. A professional will help you understand the underlying cause of hate or dislike. It could also help the girl process her loss, improving her relationship.
Communication is a crucial component of relationship building. Respectfully, let your spouse know what you are going through, your emotions, expectations, and frustrations.
Have an age-appropriate talk with your stepdaughter under the authority of the biological parent. Involving the parent helps minimize the chances of manipulation by the girl between you and your spouse.
Establish Ground Rules
You require rules and boundaries to govern your relationship and engagement with your stepdaughter. Discuss with your spouse and agree on your involvement in her life. All ground rules do not have to favor you. Remember there are multiple relationships here. After settling on the rules, have a discussion with your stepdaughter on your responsibilities and expectations. Once in a while, any of you might break the rules. Avoid being harsh but take corrective measures.
Focus On The Positive
Everyone has something positive in their life. Focus on the positive side of your stepdaughter.
Manage Your Expectations
The fact is that you are a stepmom to this child and may not gain their love and trust as you would wish. Avoid imposing your idea of how she should treat you, but you can communicate your expectations in a friendly manner. There is no ideal family. Learn to adjust in some areas to blend with the family. Do not force or fake closeness. Be patient. Time might bridge the gap.
Put yourself in the shoes of your stepdaughter and treat her the same way you would wish to be treated. It is not easy, I know. If you have biological children, treat them and your stepdaughter equally. It would be unfair to be mean to the girl. Remember, when you committed to your spouse, you accepted to be a mother or father to their children.
Find A Common Ground
Your lifestyle, likes, culture, value system, beliefs, and habits may differ from those of your stepdaughter. It is important to try and get a middle ground where you meet. It could be a hobby, sport, or activity that you like in common.
Engage in such activities together. Get out together and try to build a relationship. Remember you are the adult here; set an example.
Involve Your Spouse
The bond between a parent and daughter is long-lasting, and children are more likely to listen to them than they are to a third party. Your spouse understands your stepdaughter more and makes your relationship with her better.
Your spouse will help you understand the values and belief systems in your stepdaughter’s life which will eventually make you understand her better and possibly start liking her.
Have A Me Time
In the pressure of stepparenting, you might forget to take care of yourself. Take time to do what you love; swim, cook, dance, or go on a road trip. When you are healthy mentally, physically, and emotionally, it will be easier for you to handle the challenges of parenting without venting your anger to your stepchildren or spouse.
The last resort when you can’t stand your stepdaughter is disengaged. This means that you won’t be pressured to be involved in her life. Talk to your spouse about your decision. They may not like it but remember you are also an integral part of this relationship, and if not working, you could sit aside and let the parent handle your stepdaughter.
You May Not Be The Problem
It is very easy to condemn yourself and take all the blame for not tolerating your stepdaughter. In an instance where she is disrespectful, mean, disobedient, resentful, or just being a bad girl, you are justified to have hard feelings towards her.
A younger girl might learn to accept you with time, but with an older one, it may take time. Do the best you can in the prevailing conditions but remember you matter too.
In conclusion, it is normal not to stand your stepdaughter. Whether it’s your fault or not, you could follow the above-highlighted tips to help build a strong relationship with your stepdaughter.