The secret reason we disengage from our stepfamily

Woman with hands up

When my most recent client came to me, she started off talking about how she’d love to genuinely miss her stepkids when they left the house for college…


But, at the same time, achieving that felt damn near impossible. 


And she had no idea why. She was a nice enough person! She wasn’t trying to be mean. 


And if this is you too, there’s nothing wrong with you. 


There is a very good reason why it’s been so hard for you to genuinely and unconditionally like and love your stepkids. 


And, it’s actually a protective mechanism that is embedded in your subconscious mind. 


See, love and connection are biological imperatives. 


{As infants, the only way we get all of our needs met is if our caregivers love us}


So, whenever we start doing something that puts more emotional distance between us and any other human being, we’re trying to subconsciously protect ourselves from something. 


After a little gentle exploring with my client, we discovered that her stepkids reminded her subconscious mind of the happy childhood she never had, but still deeply longed for. 


And in a way, even as an adult with financial abundance, she was still denying herself the simple pleasures of life. 


So I first helped her start taking better care of herself – she finally got that cute haircut she’d been wanting, went on more date nights with her husband, and bought herself a really nice pair of earrings. 


Then, the resistance she felt to connect with her stepkids, to genuinely missing them, simply dissipated. 


And this isn’t just true for one client – it’s true for every single person I help. 


👉 For another one of my clients who felt super anxious around her stepkids, I helped her see that her anxiety had nothing to do with her stepkids, and everything to do with a past event where her mom had excluded her from a really important family function. From then on, she was able to hang out on family movie nights, and dinners, without being incredibly uncomfortable.


👉For another client who also felt very panicky around her stepkids, I helped her see that again, her panic had everything to do with her own neglected childhood, and nothing to do with her stepdaughter. From then on, she stopped needing to hide out in her room all the time. 


👉And for another client who was feeling rejected by her stepkids, I helped her see that her rejection was actually tied to an event where she was left out of a friend’s birthday party.  From then on, she was able to take her stepkids’ behavior way less personally. 


For each client, we first clear up the past pain, and then, the strong intense emotions of anxiety, panic, and rejection simply melt away and do not return –

and in its place, a genuine desire to connect and hang out appears.  


This is how the body is designed to work – it is designed to heal, and it’s always seeking to connect with other people. 


Connected relationships are JUST as important to our survival as water and food. 


And if you’re struggling to genuinely and unconditionally like and love your stepkids just know this: 


I know you’re a kind, decent person – if not, you wouldn’t be on this email list. 


And there’s nothing wrong with you – you just have a protective blockage embedded in your subconscious mind. 


And with the right emotional support and tools, these blockages can be released for good –


So you can be free to have the deeply loving and connected relationships you crave deep down. 


And ultimately, enjoy a happy, lasting marriage to your very best friend. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.

The connection choice we didn’t know we had

One big family

Does this sound familiar to you? 


“I just don’t like my stepson. He’s so annoying, rude, and entitled.” 


If this is you, I want you to know you’re not alone. 


And there’s nothing wrong with you. You simply have a normal human brain. 


{Human brains are biased to focus on the negative.} 


The real problem is that no one has ever taught you how to cultivate a lasting, and genuine connection with your stepkids –

even when it feels so easy to dislike them. 


I’ve helped myself and so many of my clients cultivate deep connections with our stepkids with just one simple question: 


What do I need to remember to feel more connected to my stepkids TODAY? 


For me, I just like to remember: 


  • This is a human being, just like me

  • They have a beating heart, just like me 

  • They suffer emotionally, just like me 

  • They are trying their best, just like me. 


Now I know what you might be thinking – 

Kristin, you’re telling me that when my stepkid calls me stupid I’m just supposed to feel all lovey-dovey? 

YES and NO. 

I’m NOT suggesting we condone inappropriate or harmful behaviors. 

But what I am suggesting is that it’s possible to both dislike the behavior AND still feel connected to our stepkids…. at the same time. 

Just like we have friends or other family members who may have fallen on hard times, and made choices we don’t like- 

We don’t have to agree with their choices, but we can always choose to feel connected to this human being by focusing on what we still have in common, and what we already love about them. 


And even on the most difficult days, when I start to notice myself pulling away from my stepfamily, I remember the simple choice I have: 


  • I can choose to feel connected right now


And I instantly soften. I gaze into their eyes. I offer a genuine smile. We connect. 


Over time, these little moments compound.

Little by little, we start to have more open and kind conversations. 

We learn more about each other’s likes and dislikes.

We start to gently tease each other. 

But then, I make mistakes, and then they make mistakes. 

So we talk and figure it out. 

I stop being so hard on them. 

They start cooperating more on the things that matter the most. 

{Bonus ripple effect: I spend significantly less time complaining to my husband about how he needs to correct their behavior and more time talking about fun things like our next vacation}

And then the next thing you know…


I’m asking my stepkids to help me fold the laundry and they instantly pop in to help. Not a single pushback, or complaint. 

They even ask about the most helpful way to fold and organize their baby sister’s clothes. 

They even say things like –  Hey! I’m actually having a really fun week with you. 

These changes that I’ve experienced – and that so many of my clients have as well –

They all started with one simple mindset shift.

And if we can do it, it’s entirely possible you can too. 

P.S. Want to know more? I created a free training to help you create better relationships with your stepkids and spouse. It's really good. Click the button below to watch.