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Overcoming the challenges of being a step-parent

The high rate of divorce has found its way into Africa changing the normal pattern of families. Therefore, the number of blended families such as step-families have increased and children’s welfare sometimes end up in the arms of step-parents.

Parenthood is not an easy journey and can be even more challenging for step-parents. As a stepparent, bonding with the step-children tends to be tough with some wondering what are the boundaries they should not cross.

Step-families need to build a strong bond so that it can be easier to nurture the new relationship.

Do not come too forceful: As a stepparent you may feel the urge to create an instant bond with the stepchildren. This attitude might push away the children who remember are also getting used to having a new parent.

“As a stepmother I tried my best to be sincere and open to my stepdaughter, which eventually led us to develop a deep and meaningful relationship, “says Cindy from Kapsabet.

Create family traditions: In order to create a stable and friendly bond with your stepchildren you will need to interact with them. Identify special activities that you can engage with them. However, do not impose the traditions but consult with them on what they would love to do with you. These activities could range from camping, home cooking, and movie nights.

Earn their respect and love: Rama is a Kenyan YouTuber with a family vlog called The Green Calabash. He is married to Shiko and is a stepfather to Ella one of their children. According to Rama, he had to earn Ella’s respect by balancing between being a parent and being a friend.

Stepparents should not try too hard to be accepted at first, they should respect the children and learn to earn their trust,” Rama told Standard Digital.

Your stepchildren are not going to welcome you warmly without you showing them that you sincerely value and care about them. Your little acts of love will be a step towards creating a loving relationship with your children.

A blended family will always face challenges, perhaps more than a normal family. However, with love, respect and understanding it will become easier for both parties to interact with each other.