Center a meeting around a cookie-baking or fondue party. Create movie or book nights with discussion - and involve your children in choosing a topic from a list compiled by you and your spouse. — Paula Bisacre
6. Use your resources. Discover the many resources available to help you navigate stepfamily life. It's never too late! Check out these notable nonprofit organizations: National Stepfamily Resource Center and the National Family Resiliency Center. — Paula Bisacre
7. Build trust with your stepchild. The first development task in any relationship is to build trust. In order for you to trust your stepchild, he/she must trust you first. To build trust, spend quality time with the child, letting them take the lead on what to do.
8. Say what you mean and mean what you say. Be clear and concrete in your words. Do not use hidden messages or agendas. If you make a promise or say that you are going to do something, follow through and do it. —Stacy York
9. Have family meetings. Often times, kids have many opinions and thoughts, but never get to voice them. The purpose of the family meeting should allow everyone in the family to communicate things that are going well and things that are not. Then, work as a team to solve the problems in the family.
It is crucial for stepchildren to have a voice. That does not mean that they get to make all the rules. They need to be listened to, considered, and get a response to their concerns. —Stacy York
10. Act as a consultant. There is often conflict over who should "parent" the children. Set the precedent that while you may not be the child's parent, you will consult with the other parent. This lets children know that the parents are a unit who cannot be split, but are working together to communicate and solve problems. —Stacy York