Some people think that marrying someone with adult children is easier than marrying someone with younger kids. Surprisingly, it is wrong. Blended families with grown children can have just as many issues as blended families with young kids. There is no guarantee that adult children will be okay with their parent marrying someone. If you have trouble dealing with your grown stepkids, check out our tips for getting along with adult stepchildren.
Tip #1. Brace yourself for the inevitable criticism. Even if your stepchildren are grown up, they will inevitably compare you to their biological parent. In most cases, the comparison will not be in your favor, and they will find something to criticize. Don't let their criticism harm your self-esteem.
Tip #2. Be nice but don't go out of your way to please them. Being nice and likeable may help break the ice. You should try to find ways to connect with your adult stepkids and warm your way into their hearts. However, it shouldn't look like you're trying to suck up to them.
Tip #3. Keep your distance. We aren't saying that you should isolate yourself from your stepchildren and completely ignore them. Be nice and polite to them during family gatherings, but don't actively seek to spend time with them. If they want to get to know you better, they will approach you first.
Tip #4. Don't give unsolicited advice. Unsolicited advice is rarely appreciated, even if the person who gives it means well. Your stepchildren are adults capable of making their own decisions. If they need your advice, they will ask for it.
Tip #5. Embrace your differences. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and beliefs. You may have different opinions on some matters, and this is completely normal. You need to respect your stepchildren's opinions and choices even if you don't agree with them. Accept your stepkids as they are and never judge them.
Tip #6. Stay out of their relationship with their parent (your partner). When you marry a person with younger kids, you raise the kids together. But if your partner's kids are grown up, you're not a parental figure and you have no say in their relationship with their biological parent. Let them solve their own problems, stay out of the way and don't take sides.
Tip #7. Give them time. Getting along with younger stepchildren may be easier because kids are more flexible and adaptable. The older your stepchildren are, the more time it might take them to accept you. You can only do so much. Focus your attention on your spouse, because your relationship with them is more important. The children will come around eventually.
- How to Get Along With Your Step Siblings, 7 Tips for Getting Along With Your Stepkids, 8 Don'ts of Stepparenting, 8 Dos of Stepparenting