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How to Bond With Teenage Stepsons

by Martha Holden

Parenting comes with many challenges, but raising a teenage stepson brings a new set of complications. When different families come together to create a blended family, things don’t always progress smoothly, according to HelpGuide.org. Children, especially teens, can be difficult to deal with, and parents can feel overwhelmed. When stepparenting a teen boy, taking several measures can help you bond more quickly and with less difficulty.

Take Time to Know Him

Step back and get to know your stepson. If you can find a common ground with him, he might be inclined to warm up to you faster.

Take notice of his likes and dislikes and be modest with the information-gathering process. Your stepteen will not appreciate you ambushing him in his room and badgering him with questions about what he likes.

Give him time to open up and be patient. According to Psychology Today, whether the teen opens up is of less importance than your showing interest in his world.

Be Empathetic

Respond to your stepson's needs with love and kindness. When your stepson starts feeling like he can depend on you to help him, he will start coming to you more and more. For example, if you are not a judgmental person in your conversations, he might be comfortable asking you for advice about a girl he likes.

Help him with his tasks and needs when he asks you to. For instance, if it’s his job to do dishes, and he has exams the following day, offer to wash them for him.

Reassure him of your love through your actions, and he will appreciate your presence in the family. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, with enough time to develop new traditions and relationships, you can create an emotionally rich and lasting stepfamily.

Share Fun Activities

Take part in some of your stepson’s favorite activities and be fun to be with. For example, if he enjoys playing soccer, go watch one of his games -- but only with his permission.

Invite him to activities you enjoy. If you like watching movies, ask him to come along but consider his preferences.

Swap stories and listen genuinely when he speaks. Sharing past experiences can be an excellent way to get him chatting to you. Tell him about your past and ask him about his. Start with light and funny experiences to avoid embarrassing moments.

Encourage Family Time

Arrange family activities like camping to help your stepson get used to your presence in a more comfortable environment. Your stepson will be more comfortable in his parent’s presence.

Make family time comfortable and avoid showing your discomfort when he doesn’t act according to your expectations. According to the Christian Broadcasting Network, your stepson’s loyalty to his biological parent may interfere with his acceptance of you.

Respect his relationship with your spouse. For example, if he needs to talk to his parent about something personal, excuse yourself and allow him the opportunity. Resist the urge to feel hurt and understand that older children take longer to trust outsiders.

About the Author

Martha Holden began writing professionally in 2002. She has contributed articles on food, weddings, travel, human resources/management and parenting to numerous publications. Holden holds a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the University of Houston.

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