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.

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