Obviously, our relationships to our stepchildren were made a reality by our spouse. Our spouses wanted us to be a part of the family, thus a part of their children's lives. But I suspect our stepchildren need to know that we, independently, want to be a part of their lives. But how? I believe that it’s important to establish your own personal connection with your stepchild. Find things you have in common and take the time to establish a connection involving those shared interests. For instance, I am a lover of books. When I met my stepdaughter Kate, I discovered that she too is a voracious reader. (I hope she will forgive me for using her as the example!) At first, our age difference provided little in the way of books that we could share, but I was able to think back to books I had read at her age and build upon our mutual interest. As she has grown up, we now share thoughts about books we have read. We have also both been known to pick up a book for the other knowing that she would like it. While it may not seem like much, what it did was provide us a means of building upon an early friendship based upon something other than her dad, my husband. Kate and I can enjoy one another’s company based solely upon our very own relationship with books. Of course, that’s not the only thing that we have in common, but it was one of our earliest connections. We are now not only related but are great friends. We shop, hang out, go to movies, travel, talk history and religion...etc. It may seem that you do not have any common interests with your stepchild, but dig deeper. Keep searching. Attend events. Ask questions. Get involved. You will find your commonality and it will allow you to explore each other as individuals rather than just the stepmom/stepchild you were stuck with! You may find that you have more in common than you think.