When blending a family it is important for family happiness to make stepchildren feel welcome. It is easy to invite them into a relationship just as you would your own children. it is not as difficult as one might thing to make stepchildren feel welcome. All children desire to be loved and cared for.
First, take some time to get to know the children you are welcoming. Once you know and understand how they feel about the relationship between you and your spouse, it should be easy to incorporate their personalities and feelings into your life. Remember, welcoming stepchildren into your life is an important and necessary part of building a strong relationship with your spouse.
Young children are usually the easiest to welcome into relationship. They like to be the center of attention and will love to spend time with you as a friend. Deep discussion with a pre-school child about relationships and stepchildren is not usually necessary. They want to be friends! Elementary children can be nearly as easy to make feel welcome. Find out in advance what they like and if there are youngsters in your neighborhood that they may know or who may be their age. Elementary children sometimes have fantasies that mom and dad will re-marry but a little careful conversation about expanding a family and wanting to be their friend instead of their primary parent can do a lot for making the stepchild feel welcome.
Teens and young adult stepchildren can be especially difficult to make feel welcomed into a new family. Slow and persistent communication ways to make stepchildren feel welcome. They also appreciate it when you are aware of their interests and attempts to accommodate their interests into daily life or find common interests is often appreciated. One caution about older youth and young adults, they may be as angry and confused about the break up and re-marriage or re-entry into a relationship as younger children only they are more than likely not going to talk to a stepparent about those feelings. Sometimes they won't wish to talk with anyone about their feelings.
The key is to be patient and allow a relationship to grow much like a friendship instead of a parent child relationship. Ultimately, that friendship will be more likely to grow into a parent child relationship than if you force it. It is sometimes an easy task to make stepchildren feel welcome and can lead to a solid relationship when you follow and pick up on the cues the child give you. Favorite activities and familiar foods go a long way toward making a stepchild understand that they are an important part of your family and you would like to keep them in the family.