When two people who already have children with their previous partners come together to form a single family, the transition is generally uncomfortable and awkward for the children.
Regardless of the children’s age, it can be quite stressful for a child to accept another kid as their new step-sibling. However, according to Yitzhak D Stern, the overall experience can be made less stressful and more wholesome if the child tries to make an effort to form a bond with their new step-sibling.
To learn more about how you can form or strengthen a bond with a new step-sibling, keep reading.
Yitzhak D Stern’s Top Tips for Bonding with a New step-sibling
Having a new step-sibling in the home can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. While a new step-sibling can be an excellent friend and a blessing, a lack of understanding or bonding will quickly sour the relationship.
This is why Yitzhak D Stern emphasizes the importance of being proactive about forming a bond with a new step-sibling. Some of the ways you can do that are as follows:
Try to Empathize with Your New step-sibling’s Situation
As mentioned above, having a new step-sibling can stir up different kinds of emotions. While you might be pretty excited about having a new brother or sister, the chances are that the stepchild might be less enthusiastic and eager.
Hence, the first step towards bonding with a new step-sibling is empathizing with them to understand where they might be coming from.
For instance, if the new step-sibling is relatively younger than you, they might be more overwhelmed by the whole transition. In such situations, you must try to understand their hesitations or reservations without creating an issue.
Similarly, if the new step-sibling is much older than you, they might be less interested or available to connect with you in the same way you wish to connect with them.
By empathizing with how the new step-sibling might feel, you will remain calm and keep any uncomfortable or discouraging thoughts from souring the chances of you forming a bond with them.
Give the New step-sibling Some Time and Space
Moreover, even when you have had the chance to meet your new step-sibling, it is best not to base your judgment on the initial interactions.
According to Yitzhak D Stern, some kids simply need more time and space to accept a new family and get used to the new blended family dynamics.
If you force your new step-siblings to rush into forming a bond with you, the chances are they might end up getting more distant than before.
Plan Fun Family Activities
Once you have formed a somewhat friendly and calm relationship with your new step-siblings, it is time to work on further deepening that relationship.
For this, it is best to ask the step-sibling about their interests, passions, and hobbies to plan some fun family activities around those grounds.
Let Your New step-sibling Know How You Feel
Finally, remember that in order to deepen any bond, open communication is vital. Hence, if you ever felt upset, unheard, disrespected, or undervalued by your new step-siblings, it is better to let them know instead of letting those thoughts sour your heart.
Yitzhak D Stern’s Final Words
No matter how excited you might be to welcome a new step-sibling, it is important to understand that they might not be feeling the same way.
According to Yitzhak D Sternf, if you wish to form and strengthen a relationship with a new step-sibling that seems relatively more hesitant, try to empathize with their situation, give them some space, find mutual interests, and keep communication open at all times.