As a parent, you want to make sure your step sibling rivalry know that you have expectations of them. Let them know what you like, and help them manage their time and space in the family. Work with them to create a schedule so that everyone gets quality time with both parents. Managing step siblings can be tricky, but you can make it easier on yourself by following these simple steps. Let your step siblings know that you are open to their opinions.
Why are stepsibling rivalries different than Sibling
Although there are similarities between sibli and stepsibling rivalries, they are different. First of all, stepsibling rivalry begins after the second child is born.
This is often when the older child will act out or regress due to the fact that they feel like they have to share love with someone else or have lost their position. A stepparent needs to adjust their expectations, but they should not step in and fix things.
Another difference between step-siblings and their natural siblings is birth order. Step-siblings differ in age by several years, and the birth order is not always the same.
Older step-siblings have older step-brothers, while younger step-brothers have younger ones. The age gap between children also affects the level of conflict between them. The bigger the age gap, the more likely stepsiblings will fight with each other.
Primary factors that can contribute to rivalry
Step siblings who were raised in separate households may experience more competition than children from the same household. This can be caused by differences in upbringing, differing parental attention, and age gaps.
A sudden increase in the number of children can also result in rivalry. It is the responsibility of parents to encourage amiability among their children. If the competition between siblings does not end, it may lead to a more troubled adult relationship.
The best way to avoid sibling rivalry between step children is to show respect for them by teaching them to share.
Younger siblings are likely to copy their older siblings, and a lack of respect for the newcomer can lead to feelings of hatred between them. It is also important to show respect for your step siblings, and to be considerate of their needs. A small act of kindness can change the whole dynamic of the family.
How to manage the rivalry in the blended home
It is important to understand that this sort of competition is normal and can occur in any family. However, in a blended home, the competition may be more intense and the non-biological children can sometimes be more bitter.
It is important to understand that your children are no longer biological siblings and will face rivalry from their new stepbrothers and sisters. If your children are experiencing this type of competition, it is best to talk to them about their feelings and find out what is causing their behavior.
The best way to deal with step sibling rivalry in a blended family is to avoid getting entangled in the conflict. Whenever possible, step siblings should be given space to resolve conflicts without the help of the stepparents.
If the fight becomes physical or abusive, the stepparent should intervene and help resolve the conflict. But it is also best to stay neutral so that your children are able to resolve the issues on their own. Otherwise, you risk alienating them and being perceived as a taker.
Acknowledge the challenge of adjustment
First of all, acknowledge that your step siblings may have rivalry issues. This is natural, since they aren’t the same age and have different personalities. Often, older children feel they don’t have enough privacy in their new home, and younger siblings may feel they are being followed around. Set aside regular family time, and encourage family bonding by setting up fun activities such as a game night or weekly mealtime.
This helps reinforce the idea that step siblings can be fun playmates. At the same time, make sure to provide enough space for each person to get some privacy.
One way to combat step sibling rivalry is to talk to your stepchildren about what they expect from the new family. You can help them formulate a list of what they need from the new family and work on practical solutions. Children with step siblings of similar age may also experience sibling rivalry and jealousy. If this is the case, you should encourage your stepchildren to express their feelings by involving them in family decisions. Give them plenty of time to get to know each other better. Encourage them to take part in family outings and social events.
Don’t expect everyone to become best friends
Children will react negatively to step siblings. Trying to force your children to become friends may backfire. Allow time for rifts to heal and a true friendship to grow. Sibling rivalry in the step family is a normal part of growing up. Most children grow out of it. But if the problem persists, there are some steps you can take to help your children avoid sibling rivalry in the step family.
First, teach your step siblings to respect each other. While you might love your step siblings dearly, they are used to different treatment from you and may not feel comfortable accepting your love for them. Be patient and try to avoid confrontation. If you are unable to make a step sibling become friends, set up a family meeting to discuss the issues. Then, you can resolve the problems at a later date.