What to do when you don’t feel like playing Happy Families with your blended family…
There are many blended families across the country and each one is unique. What they do have in common is that it can be difficult to merge two separate families and there are likely to be obstacles to overcome. If you’re feeling jealous or envious of a step-sibling or step-parent, know that you’re not alone. It’s a common feeling to have, and perfectly understandable.
Why Am I Jealous?
- Sharing your parent’s time and attention with others.
- Seeing your mum or dad happy with someone other than your other parent.
- Sharing a bedroom or house with your step-family or having to move out of your own house and into their home.
- Never having your parent to yourself.
You might be feeling resentful about:
How Can I Deal With It?
Firstly, you can talk to your mum or dad about how you’re feeling. Find a time when you can speak to them alone and ask if you can have a chat. Try to pick a moment when they’re not too busy or stressed.
It might help to make a note of your feelings before you start the conversation with your parent. You can use your notes to make sure you cover everything you wanted to say, and it can also help to stop you getting frustrated and angry. Do your best to keep the conversation calm and honest as arguments rarely solve anything and can often make situations worse.
If you don’t want to talk to your parent, why not try writing them a letter? You might prefer to talk to a trusted adult or a school counsellor instead. The important thing is to get your feelings out in the open and talk it out.
Over To You!
There are also lots of things you can do to reduce your feelings of jealousy. After all, relationships are a two-way street and it’s always worthwhile trying to make things better. You can try the following to build a better bond with your step-family:
- Get to know them better. Make an effort to spend quality time with them and ask them questions about their background and lives. You may be surprised to find yourself growing closer to them as you find out more about them!
- Ask if you can choose a weekend activity for the whole family to take part in. Organising something like a game night will help to make you feel more included and less of an outsider.
- Talk to friends who have had similar experiences to you. They may have some helpful tips on how you can cope with the frustrations that sometimes arise in blended families.
Understand that it can take a long time for blended families to settle and the way that you’re feeling won’t last forever. It takes a lot of patience and effort but, together, you can find ways to create a healthier family dynamic that works.
To get further help, talk to a trained counsellor at Childline on 0800 11 11.