Want to improve your relationship with your adult stepchildren? Start with these tips:
Let go of judgment. Stop viewing them through critical lenses. Accept them completely as they are. You may not agree with their choices. You have no say in what they do.
Be likable. Warm your way into their hearts with cards, thoughtful gifts, nice dinners and supportive conversation. Your primary goal is to be pleasant. The rest will take care of itself.
Find common interests. Discover ways you can connect with each adult stepchild. Talk sports with the Giants fan. Buy seeds for the gardener in the family. You’ll impress the kids with your caring behavior, and you’ll start to develop stronger bonds.
Zip your lips. Never criticize the kids or their parent. That’s not your role. Let them solve their own problems. You graciously stay out of the way.
Set time limits. Have trouble being around the adult stepkids? Then limit the length of your visits. If two hours is your max, feel free to leave after two hours. But be pleasant and smile during your outing.
Know that time is your ally. The kids may or may not accept you. You can only do the best that you can. Hopefully your ongoing efforts will win them over. Be patient. It may take time.
Commit yourself to your partner. You fell in love with your spouse. The kids came included in the deal. Focus your energies on the person you chose. That’s where your ultimate happiness lies.