Have you ever wondered why no matter what you do, you and your step child cannot seem to meet on common ground? How a step parent approaches any situation can have a great impact on the health of the relationship. For example, are you approaching armed with an open mind and full of knowledge? Or is it more of a one way requirement? Children may not respond to a perceived demand from what they consider an outsider. The more knowledge you have of your counterpart in any scenario the better equipped you are. We go into a business meeting, job interview or even play group, with background intel. So why not gather information that can help when the situation is so critical?
No one is there because of a positive situation. The children know all too well the resentment of both parents and may mirror that. They were probably there for the difficult moments. Something bad happened in order for the new step parent to be there. The usual approach of 'just going with it' can be too difficult. So step out of the box. If you are willing to take a little time, find a way to look into getting a deeper understanding of the personality of the children. Knowing their personality traits can give you an idea of how to handle a relationship. Is this kid normally a strong willed personality? Maybe they aren't just stubborn. Are they normally reserved and quiet? They may not be simply ignoring you.
Here’s an out-of-box idea. Have you ever gone to a job interview and been asked to take a personality or behavioral assessment? Why? Companies feel they can analyze who you are based on their understanding of the results to, what seem to be, random questions. In reality, a few strategically planned questions can tell us something about someone’s personality and behavioral traits. With a better understanding of what makes up your step child’s mind, you will have a little more knowledge of what you are working with. There is an opportunity there for intel. Thinking outside the box for a tool to better understanding can be key to building a good relationship.