We loved these little soundbites of advice regarding building a relationship with the children of your new partner.
1. Stepchildren can feel like being with you is a betrayal to their mum. Take your lead from them and closeness will come when they trust you.
2. All-together bonding activates everyone’s anxiety about being an outsider. Spend some low-pressure time with his children alone, and allow him to do the same.
3. Discard the fantasies of happy families. it’s rarely that easy! Just take things a day at a time.
4. Don’t presume that if they’re upset, it means you are doing something wrong. Learn a bit about development and you’ll realise what’s normal for a tantrum-ing two year old or a sullen seven year old.
5. Don’t attempt to recreate your partner’s original house rules from his previous relationship. Make your own.
6. Don’t try to be another mother. Be who you are and invent a relationship with his children that works for you and them, avoiding the extremes of disciplinarian or doormat.
Source: Marie Claire: by Wednesday Martin, author of Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel and Act the Way We D0.