In today’s society, stepfather-stepson relationships are more common than ever. It can be a fun, but challenging situation to be in. In this blog post, we will discuss how to create a great stepfather-stepson relationship and why it is so important for your family unit.
Why stepfather & stepsons struggle to connect:
The stepfather stepson relationship is a complex one. The stepson may feel like he doesn’t have anyone to look up to and rely on, if his own father isn’t in the picture anymore. Or, they might feel like their stepdad has complicated their family because now they have two father figures. Stepsons might feel resentful of their stepfather, especially if they perceive him as an obstacle or rival for their mother’s attention.
Stepsons also might struggle to step into the role of “man of the house” when their stepfather enters it. They may feel like they are no longer in charge and that another man is taking over what used to be their space/turf, which can understandably make them angry or upset.
In short, the stepfather and stepson relationship can be difficult to navigate, but if you can develop a strong bond, it’s a relationship that will last a lifetime.
7 Strategies to Develop a Lifelong Bond
Spend time together daily.
Spend time together every single day. It’s great if you can find activities you can do together, but you might have to fit in time together during your normal routines. Take your stepson with you when you go workout, play basketball or baseball, etc. Play video games together. Cook dinner and clean the dishes side by side. Have a backyard camp out where he can teach you about hunting & fishing! Get to know each other’s friends and family members.
Find hobbies and activities you can enjoy together
Having an activity you can connect over is a great icebreaker. Do you both love football? Are you Pokemon card collectors? Get into something together! It will give you great opportunities to bond.
Get interested in their life
Find out what they like, who their friends are. Offer them rides, offer to help with schoolwork. Get interested in their life and show that you’re invested!
Get clear on your parenting role, together
It’s important to step into your stepson’s life, but it can be difficult if you’re unsure what role you should take. Your relationship with his biological father might also complicate things further. Talk about these issues together and brainstorm solutions that will make everyone happy!
Practice great listening skills
It’s important for stepfathers to learn how to really listen and be present in conversations. This will help you connect with your stepson on a deeper level, as well as teaching him the importance of listening skills which he can carry into other relationships too!
Get your spouse on your side
No stepfather stepson relationship is complete without the support of your spouse. Talk with her about what you’re trying to achieve and how she can help!
Build a good relationship the biological dad
If the stepfather stepson relationship is complicated by a lack of contact or strained due to issues with your stepdad, it can help for you and his biological dad to connect. Build a good relationship so that he can be supportive as well.
The Benefits of a Strong Stepdad/Stepson Relationship
There’s a phenomena known as the father effect. And it basically says that children who grow up with engaged father-figures tend to do better in nearly everything than kids who are missing an active father figure. Stepfather’s totally count! Boys benefit from the bonus dad relationship in a number of ways:
- Do better in school
- Have better peer relationships
- Have a lower risk of anxiety and depression
- Are more likely to find a life-long career
- Have healthier relationships as adults
The Bottom Line
It’s totally possible to step into the stepfather stepson relationship and do it well. You just have to be willing to put in some time, energy, and effort! Use these 7 strategies to start building a rock solid relationship today.