All siblings fight, and this is a natural part of the process of growing up. In a blended family, it doesn’t seem so natural when the step siblings fight. This causes of lot of stress and unease on the parents. It is actually one of the biggest problems blended families will face. There are many reasons why the kids will fight, and there are right and wrong ways to deal with it.
An obvious reason why the step siblings fight is that they just may not like each other at all. When two people get together and create a life, we cannot control all of the family dynamics and relationships of all involved. They may not like one another because they haven’t gotten a chance to get to know each other better, or they may never like each other at all. Either way, you and your partner cannot ruin your relationship over this. The kids will grow up and have lives of their own. Help them through by talking about it, and if things don’t improve, you can limit their time together.
Another reason for dislike can be jealousy, whether the children are aware of it or not. Jealousy can arise from feelings of insecurity, or from their comparing lives. When children are jealous, it usually resolves itself as the children get older.
Last, some kids fight because this is natural for kids to do. If you grew up with siblings, chances are you fought with your brothers or sisters too. If stepchildren are close enough to fight, that can be a sign that they view themselves as true family.
As a parent, this can be a very difficult stage to go through, and it can put a strain on your relationship. Together, you must decide how you are going to handle these quarrels. Make a pact that you won’t allow it to come between you both, and also that you will stand as a team.
Some things to remember
- never disagree in front of the kids
- never choose sides
- always be fair with discipline and/or punishment
- set rules in advance of what is not going to be tolerated
- teach children how to communicate with each other
- don’t apologize to your partner for your child’s behavior
Even though this can be very trying on your relationship, you will make it through. Stay close to your partner, because it is you two who will be left with one another when the kids are grown and out of the house. Kids will be kids, and we aren’t in control of what they do. This is just a season in your life, and you will need patience and love to get through it.
Please comment on the show notes if you have any ideas on helping kids to work things out. Also feel free to share your personal stories for other listeners to give them hope.
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