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From time immemorial the relationship of step parents and stepchildren is seen with suspicion. Despite every caution taken by both, differences do creep up between step mother and child especially after the mother gives birth to her own child. In certain cases the selfishness has been seen to creep down to the level of cruelty. This is not good as a child is a child and needs all the dignity and respect as expected by your own children as well.

These differences often result in development of differences in the whole family. The situation can be avoided by following simple suggestions.

First of all it is essential to treat all family members equally. If your step child visits you quite often it is necessary that he or she should be treated as you treat your own child. Give proper affection to the visiting child. Remember your spouse is the natural father of the child. It is better to discuss and form rules for the whole family. The visiting child should not be expected to do more work than your own children.

However, if the whole family, including your step child, is living together be very cautious. In such an event it is better to be prepared before you decide to marry a man with an existing child.

It will create lot of harmony in the family if the whole family goes for an occasional outing and dinner may be once a month. Though not necessarily expensive, buy a gift for the visiting child when you buy for your children. This will also make your husband feel happy. Teach your children to be friendly with the visiting child. Never discuss about the step child with your children as this is very likely to create differences amongst them. If they are living together don’t give them an impression that they are step brothers or sisters.

Even in case of differences be ready to listen to the step child. Proper and thorough discussion can always help iron out the differences. Listen, and as far as possible, try to implement the suggestions of the visiting or step child. In case differences tend to increase, a visit to a counsellor, both together and separately, may be of a great help.

Since you are older, it is essential to restrict your expectations. Don’t expect from the step child what you do not expect from your own child. If you are able to show affection to your step child, and make him feel that your affection for him and your real child is the same, in all probabilities you will find that the step child is more affectionate towards you. He has already suffered loss of parents once and will want to hold on to whoever shows him love and understanding.

Healing touch towards the child will also help to strengthen your ties with your spouse and increase chances of a happy family life.