There very rarely is an easy or simple “blended family”
A blended family means that the parents were each married before, and both came into this marriage with children. Their two families are now blended. The kids from the first marriages are not half-siblings — they’re stepsiblings. Half-siblings means that they share either the same mother or the same father. Yah, can be confusing sometimes….
Every single situation is different. There are some blended families where the kids all become like actual siblings and they hardly differentiate between their biological siblings and their stepsiblings. Then there are some who become like good friends with their stepsiblings; they wouldn’t scream at or insult each other (like we do to real siblings!), but they live together so they know each other really well. Then, sadly, there are some that have hard feelings toward each other and really dislike each other. Some families go through all of these feelings at different times, or with different stepsiblings.
There very rarely is an easy or simple “blended family.” If you see a family that looks perfectly blended and amazing, it could be that it’s working out well, but it’s with a lot of hard work on the part of the parents and kids. And whether you see it or not, surprises and challenges come up in the best of situations.
To other teens in this situation, I want to say that even if you’re sure now that you will never in a million years be able to get used to and tolerate someone that drives you crazy, be patient, ’cuz one day you probably will! You may sometimes feel that you’re getting the raw end of the deal, and that you are getting treated worse than your stepsiblings. Well, guess what? News flash! They probably feel the same way! I know, I was shocked, and didn’t believe it either! In blended families, all the siblings probably lost out on some things that they had before the remarriage. Be kind, be patient, and treat the people in your house the way you want to be treated — one day it will come back around to help you.
Don’t look at me like I’m from Mars if you hear that I have a stepsibling. It makes me feel weird, which I’m not. It’s the situation I’m in, that I have no control over. Hashem created this situation for me. It doesn’t mean we have issues, and please don’t ask personal questions! (“Is he your real brother?” is kind of socially off to ask.) I’ll offer as much information as I’m comfortable offering, and if I don’t, please don’t pry.
(Originally featured in Teen Pages, Issue 883)
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