How Do You Deal with Step-Siblings?
Parent’s complete attention is the number one reason siblings’ fights. Kids are picking on each other out of boredom. If there is a lot of uproar about nothing, the kids are probably bored. Sometimes siblings honestly cannot stand one another.
When step-siblings are fighting, one of the first things you can do as a couple is to postpone deal with step-siblings fighting, if possible, and go to another room to discuss an agreed-upon plan of action.
Taking time to unify yourselves first is less difficult than taking the time to solve problems later. There are additional strategies to deal step-siblings fighting the following:
Turn off the television and give these kids work to do
This will give bored kids something to do instead of fight and it will create family unity as you all work together as a family. You will be amazed at how the way you do dishes together creates intimacy.
Prevent physical harm
Separate squabbling kids before anger turns into violence. Send both to separate locations. Separate chairs on opposite sides of the room or farther if necessary.
Model appropriate behavior with your spouse
If you yell at your spouse telling him or her, you are not my child’s parent. You are sending the message that there are two different families. This type of disagreement will increase fighting.
Reassure your children that they are loved
Children will be reacting with jealousy and fear if they think someone else is taking all your love away from them. Be sure to tell them often, I love you and praise them for their uniqueness, their accomplishments, etc.
Tell your children that they are gaining new friends
Without the pressure of family ties, step-siblings can actually become close friends and bring different experiences to each other.
Take things slowly
Don’t put pressure on kids to accept their new siblings right away. Instead, allow time for them to warm-up to each other, and expect some conflicts. Most kids outgrow sibling rivalry and form close, loving relationships.
Blended family problems with siblings can be complicated and difficult to navigate. You should be knowing how to reduce stressful situations and strengthen the marriage and all children can be a tremendous tool for blending families.
For more strategies for blending families are helping step-children mesh, you may want to consider the course of this answer like Blended Families.