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Tips for Building a Relationship with Your Grandchildren as Step-Grandparents

By Nottage and Ward on April 26, 2012

Remarrying can have a substantial impact on children after a divorce, but it is not just the step-parent and step-child dynamic that creates challenges for a new family. The step-grandparents also have obstacles to overcome while trying to build a strong relationship with their new step-grandchild or grandchildren. The grandparent-grandchild relationship is very special, but fitting into that role can be very difficult for a step-grandparent, according to The Huffington Post. The following tips can help a step-grandparent navigate the complicated waters of the step-grandparent – grandchild dynamic:

    1. Recognize that establishing trust with a preteen or teenage step-grandchild may take longer, but that does not mean that you can’t achieve it;
    2. Send a card on birthdays and special occasions to show you care. Emailing or calling to say hello occasionally is also good, but don’t overdo it, especially with older step-grandchildren;
    3. Avoid overcompensating, as it can affect your relationship with biological grandchildren. Keep your treatment of each fair, but distinctive;

  1. Remember that your step-grandchild may resent the remarriage, but is still looking for acceptance;
  2. Resist complaining to your child about your step-grandchild, even if he or she has been making your efforts more difficult;
  3. Be careful not come on too strong as a step-grandparent. Remember that you are a stranger to your step-grandchild;
  4. Make the effort to become acquainted with each of your step-grandchildren individually;
  5. Find a common ground. You may need to meet your step-grandchild halfway.

At Nottage and Ward, our dedicated Chicago family law attorneys have experience in a wide range of family law matters and can provide you with the support and legal guidance you need for your particular situation. To speak to one our lawyers, contact us today for a consultation at (312) 332-2915.

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