What to Do When You Don’t Agree with Your Stepchildren

By Matthew Mansour
Save Your Marriage - Proven Techniques

Reviewed & edited by Lenny Terra - If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

If you’re a stepparent, there’s a good chance that you and your stepchildren won’t always agree. You may not even see eye-to-eye on some of the most basic issues. So, what should you do when you don’t agree with your stepchildren? Here are a few tips.

Give them time to get to know you – don’t expect them to love you overnight.

It can be hard enough to bond with your flesh and blood, so it’s no surprise that it takes time to build a relationship with your partner’s children. 

One of the most important things to remember when forming a relationship with your stepchildren is to give them time. It’s natural for them to be hesitant or even resentful initially, and rushing them into a relationship will only worsen things.

Remember, they didn’t choose you and may be dealing with various emotions, from sadness to anger. Don’t take it personally if they’re not super friendly at first. Just give them some time to adjust and get to know you.

Instead, take things slow and allow them to get to know you. Spend time together doing activities they enjoy, and be patient when they don’t immediately warm up to you.

It takes time to build trust and bond, but eventually, they will come to see you as a valuable family member. Just be yourself, show them that you care, and be patient. In time, they’ll come to see you as a trusted friend and family member.

Talk to your spouse about the situation.

It can be tough when you don’t see eye-to-eye with your stepchildren. Maybe they’re going through a rebellious phase, or perhaps you have different parenting styles.

Talk to your spouse about the situation

Whatever the reason, it’s important to communicate with your spouse about your disagreements. Otherwise, it can strain your relationship and make it harder to parent your stepchildren effectively.

Talk to your spouse about your concerns and see if you can come to a compromise. . If you’re unsure how to deal with a certain situation, talking it over with your spouse can help you figure out the best way to handle it.

For example, maybe you don’t agree with how your stepchildren are disciplined. If you talk to your spouse about it, you can devise a plan that works for both of you.

It’s also important to remember that parenting is a team effort. You and your spouse must be on the same page to effectively parent your stepchildren. If you’re unsure how to deal with a situation, talk to your spouse before taking action.

Ask your partner questions like:

  • What do you think is the best way to handle this situation?
  • Do you have any concerns about the way I’m handling this?
  • How can I support you in dealing with our stepchildren?

By talking to your spouse and working together, you can maintain a strong relationship with your partner and your stepchildren.

Additionally, if you’re feeling frustrated or angry, talking to your spouse can help you productively vent those feelings. Ultimately, communication is key when it comes to dealing with stepchildren. This way, you’ll be on the same page when it comes to parenting your stepchildren.

Establish rules and expectations for how you will interact with your stepchildren.

One of the most important things you can do when you become a stepparent is to establish rules and expectations for how you will interact with your stepchildren.

It’s important to be clear about what you expect from them in terms of behavior and respect, and it’s also important to be clear about what you are willing to do for them.

If you’re unsure where to start, sit down with your partner and discuss what you both want from this new relationship. Once you’ve established a plan, communicate it to your stepchildren respectfully and positively. 

Some things you may want to consider include:

  • How often will you spend time together
  • What activities will you do together
  • What rules will they need to follow in your home
  • What consequences will there be for breaking rules

It’s also important to remember that rules and expectations can change over time. As your relationship with your stepchildren develops, you may find that some of your original rules are no longer necessary. Be flexible and willing to adjust your rules as needed.

The most important thing is to be respectful and clear when communicating with your stepchildren about what you expect from them. By doing this, you can set the foundation for a strong and healthy relationship.

Discuss what you would like the children to do differently.

If you’re unhappy with how your stepchildren are behaving, it’s important to discuss it with them directly. This can be a difficult conversation, but it’s important to express your feelings and talk about what you would like to see happen differently.

When having this discussion, be sure to:

  • Stay calm: Getting angry or upset will only make the situation worse.
  • Be respectful: Talk to your stepchildren in a way that shows you respect them.
  • Listen to their side: Try to understand where they’re coming from and why they’re behaving the way they are.
  • Express your feelings: Tell them how their behavior is making you feel.

After you’ve had a chance to express your feelings, work together to devise a procedure for how you would like things to change, this may include setting new rules or expectations or coming up with a system of rewards and consequences. Whatever you decide, be sure to communicate it clearly and respectfully.

Enforce the consequences you’ve established.

As a parent, you know it’s important to enforce the consequences you’ve established for your children. This is especially true if you have stepchildren. They often test the boundaries to see what they can get away with. If you’re not consistent with enforcing the consequences, they’ll quickly learn that they can push your buttons and get away with it.

However, if you’re firm and consistent, they’ll soon learn that you mean business. Enforcing the consequences may require some tough love, but it’s important to do what’s best for your child in the long run.

If your stepchildren break the rules or expectations you’ve established, it’s important to follow through with the consequences you’ve discussed. This may be difficult, but it’s important to be consistent in your parenting. If you don’t follow through with your established consequences, your stepchildren will learn that they can get away with bad behavior.

Some things you may want to consider when enforcing consequences include:

  • Ensure the consequence is appropriate for the infraction: The consequence should be related to the broken rule. For example, if a child breaks a rule about not hitting, a good consequence might be losing playtime for the day.
  • Be consistent: All children in the household should be held to the same standards. If you only enforce consequences for one child, it will create a sense of unfairness and resentment.
  • Follow through: Once you’ve established a consequence, follow through. This may be difficult, but it’s important to be consistent.

Find common ground.

Building Friendship With Stepchildren

It can be tough when you suddenly find yourself in the role of stepparent. You may feel like your stepchildren are strangers, and it can be hard to connect with them. One of the best ways to connect with your stepchildren is to find some common ground. What are their interests? What do they like to do for fun? What are their favorite TV shows or movies?

 If your stepchildren enjoy sports, try participating in their hobby by attending games or practices. Or, if they’re into music, go to their concerts or help them practice. Spending time together is also important, even if you’re not doing anything special. Just hanging out and chatting can help you get to know each other better and build a strong relationship.

Finding things you have in common will help you connect with them deeper and make it easier to find something to do together. It will also give you a better understanding of their personalities and help you figure out how to best interact with them.

Be respectful of their mother or father.

It’s important to remember that your stepchildren already have a mother or father, and they likely have a close relationship with them. As a result, it’s important to be respectful of that relationship and not try to replace the other parent.

Your stepchildren may want to spend more time with you than their other parents, and that’s okay. But don’t force them to choose between you or make them feel guilty for spending time with their other parent. It’s important to allow them to have a relationship with both of their parents without feeling like they have to choose between you.

Additionally, avoid bad-mouthing the other parent in front of your stepchildren. This will only make them feel caught in the middle and could damage their relationship with you. If you don’t get along with the other parent, it’s best to keep that to yourself and be respectful when you’re around them.

Be a role model.

As a stepparent, you have the opportunity to be a positive influence in your stepchildren’s lives. You can be a role model for them by demonstrating healthy behaviors and setting a good example.

Show them what it means to be a good person by being kind, honest, and respectful. Demonstrate healthy coping skills when you’re dealing with stress or adversity. And try to lead by example in terms of taking care of your physical and mental health.

Your stepchildren will look up to you and model their behavior after yours, so it’s important to be the best role model that you can be. If you set a good example, they’re more likely to grow into responsible, well-rounded adults.

Let the children know you love them and want what’s best for them.

Top 7 ways to bond with your stepchild. Relationship tips from Adam Lane Smith

One of the best things you can do as a stepparent is to let your stepchildren know that you love them and want what’s best for them. This doesn’t mean that you have to shower them with gifts or try to buy their affection. Instead, it’s about showing them through your words and actions that you care about them and want them to be happy and successful.

Let them know that you’re there for them and that you’re willing to help them through tough times. Be supportive of their dreams and aspirations, and encourage them to reach for the stars. Let them know that they can always come to you with whatever is on their mind and listen to what they have to say without judgment.

Showing your stepchildren that you love them can go a long way in building a strong, lasting relationship with them.

Be patient.

Building a relationship with your stepchildren takes time, so patience is important. It may take months or even years for you to develop a close bond with them. And that’s okay. Just take things one day at a time and focus on making progress, however small it may be.

Don’t get discouraged if your stepchildren seem standoffish or resistant at first. It takes time for people to warm up to each other, and they may need some time to adjust to having a stepparent. Just keep being yourself and showing them that you care, and eventually, they’ll come around.

Building a strong, lasting relationship with your stepchildren is worth the effort, so don’t give up. Just be patient and keep working, and you’ll eventually get there.


Being a stepparent can be a challenging but rewarding experience. It’s important to be respectful of the relationship between your stepchildren and their other parent and to allow them to have a relationship with both of you without feeling like they have to choose between you.

Additionally, try to be a positive influence in your stepchildren’s lives and let them know that you love them and want what’s best for them.

Finally, be patient as you build a relationship with your stepchildren. It takes time to develop a close bond, but it’s worth the effort.

If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to being a successful stepparent. Thanks for reading!


  • Matthew Mansour

    Matthew Mansour is a professional life coach, fitness trainer, health coach, a blogger with over 800 articles published to date. He enjoys reading and researching books that are reflective of the nature of who we are as humans, understanding the complexity of our minds, and using it as an advantage to propel us forward in life. He is a self-help enthusiast and he is not ashamed about it! He’s always looking for his next fix of inspiration, motivation, insight, and wisdom from those who have been there before him! He also does a lot of courses and research on the latest and greatest in the area of self-help, life coaching, and health. He likes to share his discoveries with anyone who is interested in listening! His personal goal is to help people achieve great results in their lives, that is why he also has a blog about self-improvement. He loves animals and he currently lives in New Jersey with his loving wife and his recently born child.

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