Dealing with step siblings and a step parent can be traumatic for the children left behind from the previous marriage. In some cases, the children will understand the reasons for the separation and may even be more comfortable living with only one parent. But if the parent marries someone with children, it can be challenging for the children. Here’s how you can deal with your step siblings and a step parent.
- Be polite. As much as possible, be polite to the new members of the family. You may feel uncomfortable and even hurt because of your parent’s decision, but in the end try to remember that your parent must have considered the pros and cons of getting married to someone already with child, and that your parent will have thought of what’s best for the both of you as well. Being impolite will not make the step parent and the step siblings go away, but will only make the relationship between the two of you more strained.
- Get to know them better. It may seem challenging and their mere presence may feel like trespassing into your own private space, but you should try getting to know your step parents and step siblings as well. This will lessen the tension between the two of you and will help establish rapport. Again, remember that you will be living with the person for a long time and that keeping them as strangers will only make the situation more difficult for all of you.
- Communicate with them. Try to talk to the new step parent and step siblings about yourself and about how you feel. If possible, try communicating to the step parent about your frustrations and your feelings about the marriage. This will give the step parent an idea of how to deal with you and how to interact with you. also , step parents will usually try to be good parents and by telling them how you feel you should be able to help the step parent formulate plans to get to know you better and make you feel more at home in their presence. After all, the step parent has already experienced parenting his own children.
- Don’t harass them. As tempting as it may be and as hotheaded as you may be when you discover that you will be sharing your home with people who are essentially strangers, try not to harass them. Antagonizing the new people in your household will only widen the gap and the rift between you and them. If you find it difficult to find anything good to talk to them about, simply do not talk to them and get out of their way. They will usually realize what you are doing and will try to get out of your way as well.
If you feel that you are still unprepared to deal with the new members of the family, try to get counseling or some therapy. These professionals will help to clear things up between the members of the family and will help you adjust to the new members of the family.