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How long did it take your stepkids to warm up to you?

Posted by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 12:46 AM
  • 25 Replies
1 mom liked this

I am a childless stepmom, married 1 year, together for 2. Skids 14, 13, and 9.

The first 6 months of living with DH, I went all out making efforts with the kids. Taking them places, "bonding" with them through various ways to show them I was trustworthy and only wanted to make their lives better, showing them I had no intention of taking their dad from them. I really wanted to have some kind of relationship with them.

It obviously was never my intent to be a mom-figure to them, because I don't think of them that way, and I'm not their mom. More like a friend kind of thing. And I figured since I'm a nice person, what would be the opposition to accepting me as a new member of the family?

After a year, I'm beaten down. The youngest is cool with me. She seems to be the only one who seems to realize that accepting another woman in the household (as dad's wife) does not equate to "mom replacement". But the older two, while nice enough to my face, have had continuous problems. 

They don't talk to me or acknowledge me in my home. I feel nonexistent in my home. I've reached the point of disengagement with them where I try to not let it bother me so much, and I no longer reach out to them the way I used to, but it still hurts to feel so insignificant. I don't feel like a part of the family. I feel like a stranger living with a bunch of strangers. 

I know I'm new to this situation, and the ages of the skids make it harder, but does it get better? Or should I just accept that I'm never going to have any kind of relationship with these people? It makes me sad to think that may be the case. 




by on Oct. 1, 2013 at 12:46 AM
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Replies (1-10):
faerie75
by Platinum Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:04 AM
How is the relationship w BM? Are you civil w her at all? Does she talk about you around the skids? Unfortunately this might play a part. Even if you never did anything wrong, have always been civil to her and never said anything about her, if she does, the kids might feel conflicted.

I would just focus on yourself and SO and be kind to them... Greet them even if they don't initially greet you... Take the high road. They are teens and will soon be adults. Hopefully that will come w maturity and they will be cordial. If not, you did your best. SO should not allow them to disrespect you though.
runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:17 AM


BM relationship was good while DH and I were dating. She freaked out when got married, and I do know of times she's said bad (untrue) things of me to skids. But according to oldest SD, her most recent sentiment is that I am good for DH, and that she respects me as a person. So I don't think it's BM. 

It just seems like this weird thing of not wanting to accept people that aren't biologically related? And while I do get that to some degree, I also don't...  I don't see what the big deal is, basically. 

I try to do like you said - take the high road with them - but I do struggle with that when I know the door is always going to be shut in my face. I just get tired of always putting myself out there only to be rejected. 

Quoting faerie75:

How is the relationship w BM? Are you civil w her at all? Does she talk about you around the skids? Unfortunately this might play a part. Even if you never did anything wrong, have always been civil to her and never said anything about her, if she does, the kids might feel conflicted.

I would just focus on yourself and SO and be kind to them... Greet them even if they don't initially greet you... Take the high road. They are teens and will soon be adults. Hopefully that will come w maturity and they will be cordial. If not, you did your best. SO should not allow them to disrespect you though.



momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:53 AM
My daughter was 5 when she met Sm and warmed to her quickly. It took about 1 year for sm to change her tune and push dd away. Dd is now 12, does not trust sm but is always respectful. She keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall. She was injured by Sm and put in danger twice, so she has some trust issues.

Dd was 7 when she met my husband. Because of her experience with Sm we took it very slow with my dh. He saw dd for maybe an hour about once a month for the first few months after introducing them. After several months, we started doing a couple times a month. She was shy and very stand offish with him. She never would sit by him and it took a while to actually engage in conversation. He really was going to have to earn her trust. I finally just gave up after a while because I just felt that she wasn't ready so we stopped having him around. I just dated him without including her at all. We work together so it was easy for us to spend every day at lunch together and I would get a babysitter for date nights. She was on supervised visits with her dad at the time so I didn't have the weekends to give me time to date more often. Finally she just started asking when we could see him again. And we slowly reintroduced. I would say after a year we were finally able to spend an entire day together. About a year later we moved in together and now 5 years later, they are extremely close. He won her over. He did buy her affection in the beginning which I was against because I felt that if he wasn't able to keep it up, that all of their relationship would have been built on material things. He found something they had in common which is sci fi movies, Legos and Star Wars and he just ran with it. He invited her and my dad to go see movies.. He would spend time with her but included my dad so that she had a familiar face and someone she could feel safe with. Now they go do stuff all the time. Their relationship has it's moments. She's a pre teen who thinks her parents are weird. He gets on her nerves some times and she will push him away when she gets mad at just about anything. But she will just as quickly climb in his Lap and tell him that she loves him. He feels like he is on an estrogen roller coaster. He isn't quite sure how to deal with her moods yet. He is doing lots of reading, asking lots of questions and just walking softly around her. He does not discipline her and he does not 'tell her what to do'. He is simply her friend. They hang out and do fun stuff. She knows he is there for her and she goes to him for all her homework questions. It is crazy how much they have in common and how much their interests are similar. That has been a huge help in blending those two. I think it also helps that he is just a support and not really an authority. He just lets me handle the messy parts of parenting her.
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runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:58 AM


What you describe with your DH and your daughter is exactly what I would like to have with my skids. It's how I was with my step parents. I love the way you two went about it. 

Quoting momof2ex1:

My daughter was 5 when she met Sm and warmed to her quickly. It took about 1 year for sm to change her tune and push dd away. Dd is now 12, does not trust sm but is always respectful. She keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall. She was injured by Sm and put in danger twice, so she has some trust issues.

Dd was 7 when she met my husband. Because of her experience with Sm we took it very slow with my dh. He saw dd for maybe an hour about once a month for the first few months after introducing them. After several months, we started doing a couple times a month. She was shy and very stand offish with him. She never would sit by him and it took a while to actually engage in conversation. He really was going to have to earn her trust. I finally just gave up after a while because I just felt that she wasn't ready so we stopped having him around. I just dated him without including her at all. We work together so it was easy for us to spend every day at lunch together and I would get a babysitter for date nights. She was on supervised visits with her dad at the time so I didn't have the weekends to give me time to date more often. Finally she just started asking when we could see him again. And we slowly reintroduced. I would say after a year we were finally able to spend an entire day together. About a year later we moved in together and now 5 years later, they are extremely close. He won her over. He did buy her affection in the beginning which I was against because I felt that if he wasn't able to keep it up, that all of their relationship would have been built on material things. He found something they had in common which is sci fi movies, Legos and Star Wars and he just ran with it. He invited her and my dad to go see movies.. He would spend time with her but included my dad so that she had a familiar face and someone she could feel safe with. Now they go do stuff all the time. Their relationship has it's moments. She's a pre teen who thinks her parents are weird. He gets on her nerves some times and she will push him away when she gets mad at just about anything. But she will just as quickly climb in his Lap and tell him that she loves him. He feels like he is on an estrogen roller coaster. He isn't quite sure how to deal with her moods yet. He is doing lots of reading, asking lots of questions and just walking softly around her. He does not discipline her and he does not 'tell her what to do'. He is simply her friend. They hang out and do fun stuff. She knows he is there for her and she goes to him for all her homework questions. It is crazy how much they have in common and how much their interests are similar. That has been a huge help in blending those two. I think it also helps that he is just a support and not really an authority. He just lets me handle the messy parts of parenting her.



momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 1:58 AM
Lmao! As I was writing my post my husband is listening to a video on teens and why they take 'selfies'. lol he does lots of research on teenagers. Even more than I do. He's like that new mom that gets on CM to learn everything about each stage of their new baby.
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runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:05 AM


Aww! Why do they take selfies, because I don't really get it either...So many generational things, it makes me feel old :)

Quoting momof2ex1:

Lmao! As I was writing my post my husband is listening to a video on teens and why they take 'selfies'. lol he does lots of research on teenagers. Even more than I do. He's like that new mom that gets on CM to learn everything about each stage of their new baby.



momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:15 AM
1 mom liked this
I think what really has helped them is that he isn't her parent. I think so many stepparents feel that they have to be a parent because they are a step'parent'. Or one or both parents are working, not around etc. I think the problem between my dd and Sm is that SM pretended to be cool with Disney dad. But then came in like a jack hammer and decided to change everything all at once. Of course there was resistance. And then it exploded. My husband has never felt the need to make changes to our family. We were already a family. He is a very valuable addition but he knew how we were before he came in. He had the option to stay or go once he saw what we all were made of. And I had seen what went down between dd and sm and I warned him right away ... I've parented for this many years on my own. I have good, well mannered children and I'm not looking for an intervention team. I'm looking for someone to spend my life with. I do think that my husband has changed us but in a good way. He didn't change US but he did add fun and adventure to our lives.


Quoting runinpinkshoes:


What you describe with your DH and your daughter is exactly what I would like to have with my skids. It's how I was with my step parents. I love the way you two went about it. 


Quoting momof2ex1:

My daughter was 5 when she met Sm and warmed to her quickly. It took about 1 year for sm to change her tune and push dd away. Dd is now 12, does not trust sm but is always respectful. She keeps waiting for the other shoe to fall. She was injured by Sm and put in danger twice, so she has some trust issues.



Dd was 7 when she met my husband. Because of her experience with Sm we took it very slow with my dh. He saw dd for maybe an hour about once a month for the first few months after introducing them. After several months, we started doing a couple times a month. She was shy and very stand offish with him. She never would sit by him and it took a while to actually engage in conversation. He really was going to have to earn her trust. I finally just gave up after a while because I just felt that she wasn't ready so we stopped having him around. I just dated him without including her at all. We work together so it was easy for us to spend every day at lunch together and I would get a babysitter for date nights. She was on supervised visits with her dad at the time so I didn't have the weekends to give me time to date more often. Finally she just started asking when we could see him again. And we slowly reintroduced. I would say after a year we were finally able to spend an entire day together. About a year later we moved in together and now 5 years later, they are extremely close. He won her over. He did buy her affection in the beginning which I was against because I felt that if he wasn't able to keep it up, that all of their relationship would have been built on material things. He found something they had in common which is sci fi movies, Legos and Star Wars and he just ran with it. He invited her and my dad to go see movies.. He would spend time with her but included my dad so that she had a familiar face and someone she could feel safe with. Now they go do stuff all the time. Their relationship has it's moments. She's a pre teen who thinks her parents are weird. He gets on her nerves some times and she will push him away when she gets mad at just about anything. But she will just as quickly climb in his Lap and tell him that she loves him. He feels like he is on an estrogen roller coaster. He isn't quite sure how to deal with her moods yet. He is doing lots of reading, asking lots of questions and just walking softly around her. He does not discipline her and he does not 'tell her what to do'. He is simply her friend. They hang out and do fun stuff. She knows he is there for her and she goes to him for all her homework questions. It is crazy how much they have in common and how much their interests are similar. That has been a huge help in blending those two. I think it also helps that he is just a support and not really an authority. He just lets me handle the messy parts of parenting her.





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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:17 AM
1 mom liked this
I have no idea. When he gets done I'll find out lol I don't get why adults take selfies either haha


Quoting runinpinkshoes:


Aww! Why do they take selfies, because I don't really get it either...So many generational things, it makes me feel old :)


Quoting momof2ex1:

Lmao! As I was writing my post my husband is listening to a video on teens and why they take 'selfies'. lol he does lots of research on teenagers. Even more than I do. He's like that new mom that gets on CM to learn everything about each stage of their new baby.





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momof2ex1
by Ruby Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 2:20 AM
What has your husband done to try to encourage them to acknowledge you? I know that many might say, they don't have to acknowledge you but I disagree with that. My dd is definitely guilty of this but to lots of people. She doesn't always say hello to people. I make her. If we show up at grandmas and she goes straight to the ft room, I make her turn around and go in and say hello. Does he encourage them at all?
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runinpinkshoes
by Silver Member on Oct. 1, 2013 at 4:06 AM
Yes, I've tried to do that too - not change things, not be parental in any way. That part's pretty easy because I'm NOT a parent and don't feel like one.

My husband has spoken to them about acknowledging me. Just like what you said, he likens it to not acknowledging any adult they come across. Like if he had a friend over and no one even said hi. That's how it is.

So, at this point it's not like I'm hoping for a relationship. It would be nice - and what your DH has with your DD sounds like what I have with YSD.

It's just always feeling so ignored in a houseful of people that wears on me. It would no matter who I was living with.


Quoting momof2ex1:

What has your husband done to try to encourage them to acknowledge you? I know that many might say, they don't have to acknowledge you but I disagree with that. My dd is definitely guilty of this but to lots of people. She doesn't always say hello to people. I make her. If we show up at grandmas and she goes straight to the ft room, I make her turn around and go in and say hello. Does he encourage them at all?

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