Read these 5 Step-Fatherhood Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Dad tips and hundreds of other topics.
Gradually introduce new changes to your new home environment. You and your partner should agree on what will change with your new family. This will require a big adjustment to be made by the children. If you rush in with foreign furniture, bits and pieces, new rules, new routines and, of course, you (as the new dad), you threaten the childrens' comfort and security. Do it one step at a time and let the kids get used to the new ways a bit at a time.
To help them to get to know you, tell your step-children about your past. Show photos of you growing up and of your accomplishments. Show them awards you may have won or diplomas/degrees you've earned. Maybe, take them and show them where you grew up. Let them know the whole you - they probably haven't seen too much so far and don't really have a complete picture of you. However, you may wish to keep your skeletons in the closet - you don't want to scare them as they may be wary of you at first until they are comfortable.
How do you relate to a step-child that doesn't accept you? Give them space, time and love. Don't expect them to respond favourably to you immediately. They need time to find where they fit into your life and vice versa. They also need to work out where their real father now fits in to their picture of the world. Talk to them and encourage them to accept you. You don't have pretend to be their real father to be their real dad.
To start to interact with your step-child, find out what they like and dislike, what they enjoy doing, what upsets them, what thrills them. Ask them or their mom for this information. With it, you can start to understand where you can fit in with your step-child. You can involve yourself in their pursuits or interests and start to establish a relationship early. But, don't overdo it. There is a teething time for each of you to get used to the other. You don't want to make each other feel uncomfortable.