So, your parent got married and their partner already has a child or children of their own. They are part of your family now, there's nothing you can do about it, so you might as well learn how to get along with your step siblings.
Living in a step family can be hard, but you can handle it. Maybe you will never become friends with your step siblings, but you need to at least tolerate each other and get over sibling rivalry. Here are some tips for getting along with your new siblings.
Understand that you're one family now. Your parent's new spouse and their child(ren) are not an appendix to your family, neither are you and your parent an appendix to theirs. You've formed a completely new family. Your step siblings are not intruders even if it feels like they are. Treat them as a part of your family, and they will do the same.
Get to know them. First impression is often deceptive. If you got off on the wrong foot, you need to give them a second chance. Find out if you have common hobbies or interests, try to hang out together. If you are close in age, you probably have something in common.
Don't expect them to become your friends immediately. It's great if you hit it off right away and become friends. But don't push if they are reluctant to let you into their lives. Your step siblings have their own friends just like you have yours, and they might need time to find a room for another friend. You don't have to be friends with your step siblings, although it's great if you do.
Always participate in family bonding. You parent and step parent will probably encourage family bonding. Bonding activities are a good opportunity to spend time with your step siblings without feeling like an intruder. Spending time together will help you really become a family. Besides, bonding activities are usually fun.
Set your boundaries and respect theirs. Setting your boundaries will help you feel more comfortable around your step siblings. Tell them they should knock before coming into your bedroom, let them know what things they are not allowed to borrow or even touch without your permission, etc. This has to work both ways, you need to respect their boundaries and rules.
Be willing to share. When you're the only child, eating the last peach is okay. When you have siblings, especially if said siblings are younger then you, it is important to share. Even if they turn down your offer, it is the thought that counts.
Don't try to make them change and don't change yourself. You grew up in different families and do some things differently. Don't criticize them and accept their customs as long as they accept yours. You will have to adjust, but you don't have to change who you are.
Get your parents involved. If you can't resolve an important issue, ask your parents to help you make peace. Believe us, they do want you to get along, otherwise they wouldn't have got married in the first place. Just remember that asking your parents for help doesn't equal whining and complaining about your step siblings' behavior. Be mature about this.
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