Being a stepparent is not an easy task. You get into someone’s life desiring to be a caring adult figure, only for them to push you away. However, others are easy to work with and act more friendly. Creating a bond between you and your stepdaughter will need time to develop. Both of you need to be authentic and willing to make the relationship work.
You can establish a close connection with your stepdaughter. But you need to know that it won’t be as easy as it was with their birth parents. Problems and challenges will always come along the way. How do you prepare yourself for such? What issues are likely to arise between you and your stepdaughter? Let’s dig deeper!
Problems Likely to Arise With Your Grown Stepdaughter
Here are areas likely to cause tension between you and your stepdaughter:
Boundaries for stepdaughters and biological families are unique. The stepdaughter needs to know the differences and learn how to follow them. The problem with stepdaughters is that they can change in the blink of an eye.
Some boundaries are specific to you, some for your partner, and some for the ex-biological parent. Your stepdaughter may know boundaries about her biological parents but not those regarding you. That’s why it is essential to let them know beforehand where to draw the line.
Decisions Are For The Parents
Even if you mean the best for your stepdaughter and want to offer step-parenting help, know that decisions regarding the stepdaughter are to be made by her biological parents. Your help in decision-making is not solicited, and that should not be a cause of concern for you. You can offer your advice when asked to, not during other times.
Diminished As A Family Component
Parenting a stepdaughter means you’ll feel diminished as part of the family, especially when you’re new until things begin to connect. You’ll always feel excluded or brushed to the side if there are routines or traditions because there’s nowhere to fit. What should you do in such a case?
Understand family dynamics and take your time to adjust to the new family. Don’t nag or complain a lot that you feel left out. Eventually, there’ll be a revised or new dynamic that’s all-inclusive.
Resistance Is The First Response
Parenting a stepdaughter often leads to resistance. The daughter doesn’t want to betray her other parent. So, she resists you, unsure how she should react.
It can also be difficult for you as you haven’t developed the unconditional love parents have for their children. This may make your stepdaughter feel like you don’t love them as much as their mother.
The best thing to do here is to take time and let things flow. Building relationships is a learning curve that will take you growing together to figure everything out.
Forcing The Relationship
Parenting a stepdaughter can go off-kilter sometimes. You may be tempted to force your relationship with your stepdaughter. But don’t be tempted to go that route, as that can lead to defiance on the stepdaughter’s part. She may even decide to move away from you and take longer to come back around. So, let things grow at their natural pace.
Time And Patience
In the same vein, approach your stepdaughter with the idea that you don’t want to replace their other parent. But to be there for them should they need an extra ear or mentor them anytime and then back off. You’d be surprised at how slowly but firmly your stepdaughter makes her way to you. By not interacting, you are giving her space, inciting her curiosity.
Circumstances At Hand
The circumstances can also play a massive role in creating problems between you and your stepdaughter and how she’ll react toward you. If you got into the family after the other parent died, establishing a relationship with your stepdaughter might be a little easier. That’s because your stepdaughter will be at peace knowing her other parent is no more and you had nothing to do with it.
However, things would be a little messy to handle if you came into the picture when the two parents were undergoing a divorce. Your stepdaughter may feel like you are the cause for her parent conflicts and maybe even divorce. This may not settle well with her, creating more problems daily.
There’s Often Blame
Sometimes with newly-remarried parents, blames comes if the parents were divorced. As the stepparent, you will receive worse treatment than the biological parent. This can make step-parenting more difficult.
In this case, try to convince the biological parent to get counseling for the stepdaughter to work through the divorce before getting married. This way, the daughter will be emotionally in a better place with the whole remarriage.
How You Come In matters
The first impression you make after joining the blended family matters. If, in the beginning, you come in like a lion, it will have the wrong impression on the stepdaughter. The best approach is to be non-intrusive, peaceful, and calm with your spouse. This approach will impact the stepdaughter best and start the relationship with a positive vibe.
Discipline Is Not A Three-Person Job
Generally, parents have different views on discipline, and it can be a disaster when adding step-parenting into the equation.
The stepdaughter’s biological parents are the primary decision-makers on matters of discipline, even if she’s all grown. But as a stepparent, you can consider advising as the stepdaughter as she’s part of your household.
Arguments Will Ensue
Arguments with your spouse will likely ensue when trying to figure out your duties as a stepparent. That’s because your partner is also dealing with an ex-partner, arguing that you have no say in these issues.
Living in a blended family may seem all bliss, but that’s always the case. Yes, there are successful blended families, but most are struggling.
If you’re in a blended family and have issues with your grown stepdaughter, the best thing to do is to identify the source of all problems. Once done, it will be easier to come up with a solution. If that doesn’t work, consider seeking therapy with your stepdaughter.