Falling in love later in your life, or with an older person can be just as fulfilling and wholesome as young love. Whether you or your new partner already have kids from a previous marriage, the formation or a blended family can be pretty exciting.
However, if bonding with a new adult step child seems a little challenging to you, know that you are not alone. According to Yitzhak D Stern, since older kids are not as impressionable and easier to communicate with, unpleasant conflicts and disagreements can be expected.
Hence, if you need tips regarding bonding with an adult step child, keep reading below.
Yitzhak D Stern’s Four Tips for Bonding with an Adult Step Child
Having a new step parent is almost always a little overwhelming for anyone. While younger kids are usually easier to talk to, teens or young adults are often more hesitant, rigid, and less welcoming. This is why people need to be well-informed about how to approach and bond with an adult step child.
Some of the expert tips by Yitzhak D Stern on this matter are as follows:
When kids are in their late teens or early twenties, they usually do not have as much time for their family as they once had. Whether they choose to spend their days with their friends or at school, the parents usually do not get a say in this.
Hence, if your partner has an older child who you still have not met, the best advice is to give the child their time and space to come approach you on their own. Let your partner know that you are willing to introduce yourself, and allow your partner and their child time to decide when the meeting will be most appropriate.
By doing so, your adult step child will not feel ambushed or forced, and will have time to sort their feelings and prepare themselves for the new family dynamic.
Apart from giving the teen or adult step child their time and space, it is also important to respect their pace. For instance, if the child seems a little hesitant while inviting you to their birthday celebration, do not get upset and never impose yourself.
Instead, tell the child that you completely understand their reservations and that you respect their choices and decisions.
Once you have met your adult step child, allow the conversation to flow as naturally as possible. While introducing yourself, do make sure that you ask the child about their interests, hobbies, and passions. However, while doing so, make sure that you do not sound overly inquisitive and nosy, as that would irritate any teenager, causing them to lose their interest in this new relationship.
As per Yitzhak D Stern’s advice, once you have learned a bit about the stepchild, try to point out some common interests that you share. This might create a sense of familiarity which can positively impact the overall relationship.
Finally, once you have formed a relationship with the adult stepchild and you both feel comfortable conversing with each other, you can take the next step by planning some fun family activities.
The best advice here will be to plan an activity based on the stepchild’s interests. For instance, if the child has shared their love for horses with you, planning a family day out at a polo match can be an excellent idea to further deepen your bonding.
Yitzhak D Stern’s Advice
Adopting a child is a huge step and one you must take only after you’ve spoken to everyone in your immediate family. At the end of the day, it’s another human being you’re bringing into your home, and they deserve to be treated with love and respect. Yitzhak D Stern says that if you have the blessing of your family and are willing to take care of the child, nothing should stop you from giving them a loving and welcoming family.