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10 Things Only Step-Siblings Can Relate To

10 Things Only Step-Siblings Can Relate To

When your parents first remarried, you could never imagine sharing your life with a step-sibling. Now, you can’t imagine life without them. Here are a few things that only individuals with step-siblings can relate to:

You know what it is like to not share the same childhood

Acquiring a new sibling means that you have a lot of catching up to do, since you did not share a childhood. Photos help a lot and so do home videos. It’s surprising, but after a while you get to know each others’ pasts so well that you often forget that you did not grow up under the same roof.

You understand the hardship of constantly having to explain your blended family to everyone

Introducing your new family can be no easy matter. You hate having to explain that your parents remarried and that you have step-siblings now, because to you they simply feel like your biological family. It gets even harder if both parents remarry. It often involves drawing diagrams and using nearby objects to describe your current family situation.

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You deal with a constantly changing number of people at your house

The number of people in your house is always in flux, since all the children rotate between different sets of parents. When you’re at your mom’s house you have three siblings, but when you are at your dad’s it is back down to only you and your sister. It’s confusing to constantly switch family dynamics, but on the plus side it always keeps life interesting.

You get to have the older/younger sibling you’ve always wanted

Deep down you always wanted to have an older sister to steal clothes from and ask all your boy questions. Your wish came true when your mom remarried and you acquired a wise older sister that you would not trade for the world.

Your holidays are a bit more complicated

The holidays will never be simple, but then again when are they ever? Dividing your time between two families can be anything but calm, but on the bright side at least you get double the presents and two holiday feasts.

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You make alliances with your parents during their fights

Fights between your mom and dad are bound to happen, and it’s hard for step-children to not take sides with their own parent. Your mom is used to doing something one way, but your step-dad does not always agree. You feel automatically inclined to defend your mom, even if you do not completely agree with her.

Your birth order gets thrown out the window

You have been the oldest sister to your younger brother for as long as you can remember. That is, until your dad remarried. Now you’re the middle child, and that’s taken a long time to come to terms with.

Your chores became a whole lot more complex

Chores are never an easy thing to assign, but doling out who does what in a blended family what can be a chore in itself. On top of everything else, there’s also the task of combining two different families’ ideas of how chores need to be carried out.

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You know evil step-sisters (and brothers) only exist in fairy tales

Blame it on Cinderella, but step-siblings have a bad rap. The reality is that your new siblings are a whole new support team that has your back no matter what.

You know it takes some time getting used to sharing your mom or dad

One of the hardest parts about having a blended family is learning to share your own mom or dad with your new step-siblings. Over the years it gets easier as you become closer and you could not imagine anyone else as your family.

Step-siblings can create a complex family dynamic, but you know that in the end there is no one you would rather have as your sisters and brothers. After all, you know that family is not defined by blood, but rather those who you could not live without.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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