Do I force my child to play with his step-sister?

Amber - posted on 04/06/2016 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My boyfriend and I have been living together for over a year. He has an 8 year old daughter and I have a 6 year old son. My son is independent and enjoys playing by himself at times. She constantly wants him to play with her and it becomes a huge problem in our home. My boyfriend thinks they should play together all the time and that my son is being mean if he doesn't want to play with her. I personally do not think it is normal for kids to want to play together all the time. My son does want to play with her sometimes but not every minute they are together. I don't think I should force him to play with her. I am open to any advice or opinions on what is normal and how I should handle the situations.

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Dove - posted on 04/06/2016

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Absolutely don't force him to play w/ her. Encourage them to play together... family game night is a good way to start this, but forcing anyone to play w/ someone else is a great way to build resentment. They didn't choose to become 'siblings'... and they do NOT have to be friends. Time together is certainly a good thing to encourage, but never, ever forced and time alone (or w/ other friends) is also perfectly fine... whenever either of them wants it.

Raye - posted on 04/06/2016

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Encourage them to play together, but definitely don't force them. My step-kids are full siblings to each other, and often the boy will want to play with his sister, and she won't want to. Some kids just don't have enough shared interests to want to play together. Generally the more one wants to play with the other, the more the other refuses to play.

Dove's idea of family game night is good. Better if you can find a game where you all need to cooperate to finish. We have a board game called Break the Safe which encourages cooperative play, and you must win as a team.

Ev - posted on 04/06/2016

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Kids do not need to play with each other all the time. He will need his space as will she. Is the girl with you guys all the time? Does she have other kids when she is with her mom? Also, just to point things out, she is not his step sister as yet because you are not married to her father.

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Amber - posted on 04/06/2016

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She is not with us all the time. Her parents share custody. One week she is at my house 5 days and the next week she is there for 2. She does have other children around when she is with her mom. She is an only child and her parents divorced when she was 6. She went from not having anyone to play with to always being around another kid.

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