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Difficult step siblings? Here's how to get along

 

There's no way around it: Blended families are tough. When your mom or dad remarries, it's hard enough to have to adapt to a new person filling in the role as parent, but siblings are a completely different story. If you're having issues getting along with your new stepbrother or sister, we've got some advice to help the transition go a little more smoothly. 

1. Establish a line of communication.
Just like you would ask a new friend for their number at the start of a friendship, do the same with your step sibling. Whether your preferred method of communication is texting, giving each other a call every few days or meeting up in person, figure out the best way for you two to stay invested in each others' lives. Making an effort to reach out will show that you care about getting to know them and will also help establish boundries. 

2. Respect one another.
Understand that both your new sibling and yourself are coming from a similar place. There could still be some anger, resentment and confusion lingering with the new union and the changes that will occur beacuse of it. You may feel compelled to lash out but rather than take it out on your step siblings, try talking to your parent about what it is that you're struggling with so you can find a better soulution to dealing with it.

3. Find common ground.
While your new stepbro or sis may not have been your fist pick for BFF, there's likely *something* that you have in common with him or her. It's all about taking the time to get to know them and finding what it is you two can both bond over. It might be as simple as your fave Starbucks orders or even how you both dealt with a separated household. Find what it is that brings you two together and grow from there. 

4.  Seek understanding.
Families fight. They always have and they always will. It's natural to have a few spats with your step sib here and there but if there's constant arguing, it's time to sit down and talk. It's better to address the issue and get to the root of the problem rather than letting it build up. Whether you like it or not, you guys are now a part of each others' lives so learn how to cooperate. Be happy that your parents found someone that makes them happy. Avoid giving them even more headache with petty melodramas. 

5.  Give it time.
Don't expect the lovefest to sunddenly start overnight. Just like any relationship or freindship, trust and respect are built over time. Sometimes the whole BFF/sister fantasy doesn't pan out exactly as it did in your head, and that's okay. The best you can hope for is that you have another person added to your support system and the chance to learn something from each other.

Do you have step siblings? Share your experiences in the comments! 

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by Karlyn Sykes | 6/15/2017
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