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New stepdad needs advice

mark461's picture

I am a new SD.  Married about 8 months.  I have a BS but now have 2 SDs that I want to have a pretty good relationship with.  They are 13 and 17, good kids but a little standoffish with me.  I know how to interact with my son but am new to teenage girls, LOL.  Not looking to replace the biological father, just want to have a good relationship with them.  Any advice would be appreciated. 

StrawberryPie's picture

I have a SD who is 17 too.  When you figure this out let me know. From my experience, teenage step daughters are a whole different species. 

Kes's picture

My advice is don't try too hard to be their friend.  Be friendly and respectful, but let them come to you if they choose to.  The best thing you can do for steps of this age is model a good relationship with their mother, so that they will have something to emulate if they (hopefully) choose.  

elkclan's picture

Don't overplay your hand - esp with the 17 yo.You're not her dad, don't try to act like one. However, you do have a right to speak up if something affects you or your son in your own space. 

Play the long game and aspire to have a good adult to adult relationship. 

Rags's picture

Regardless of kid gender, be consistent, be their example, mentor, confidante and .... when necessary... their disciplinarian.  Just as you are for your BS.

You and their mom are equity life partners and that makes you both equity parents to any children in your marrital home regardless of kid biology.

Set the the standards of behavior and performance for your home, hold the kids to those standards in an age appropriate manner.

Keep it simple and consistent.

That is what worked for us in our blended family adventure.   Though SS-26 is an only child in our marriage and we started out journey when he was 15mos old when his mom and I started dating. We married the week before he turned 2yo.

Your experience will of course have a number of differences due to the age of all of he children in your marriage.  However, structure and consistency is the key to blended family success in my experience and opinion.

Good luck.