Sibling Rivalry In Step Families

No family is completely immune to sibling rivalry. This holds just as true for traditional families as it does for blended families or for step families. However, Sibling rivalry in step families can be especially difficult, because there are a great many other emotional factors involved in the relationships between the siblings themselves in a step family. In addition, there are often a great many emotional factors involved in the relationship between the children and each of the parents in a step family. Sibling rivalry in step families, then, requires a well-thought approach if it is to be kept under control.

The first factor that often causes sibling rivalry in step families is in regard to the parents. While parents try to be fair, it is not uncommon for one of the parents to favor their own biological child over the other children. In some cases, the parent may treat the step-child unfairly. However, it is much more common for the step-child to merely feel as though they are not being treated fairly, regardless of whether it is actually true or not. Dealing with the relationship between the step-parent and the step-child, and making sure that the step-child knows that the step-parent cares for them as much as they care for their biological child, is an important part in reducing sibling rivalry in step families.

Another cause of sibling rivalry in step families is the physical adjustment that takes place when families become blended. A child may find that she has to share her room for the first time, often with someone who they may not know all that well yet. Even if the step-siblings don’t have to share a room, they will still have to share space, whether that is in front of the television, in the back seat of the car, or at the dinner table. Losing some of their own personal space to a sibling can create a great deal of sibling rivalry in step families. Making sure that each child has some space that they can call their own, that they can go to in order to get away for a while, can greatly reduce sibling rivalry in step families.

While sibling rivalry in step families is common, you may find that it can generally be addressed in a relatively easy manner.