Step children and in-laws blending

Nicki - posted on 06/21/2016 ( 2 moms have responded )




My sister in law has 2 kids with my brother (toddlers) and 2 kids (elementary age) she had previously. Her 2 kids have zero relation ship with their bio father or bio fathers family. My brother and her have been married for 2 years and I have a decent relationship with my brother but it seems his wife does not really care for us. I have made attempts to talk to her but it seems very on the surface. My brother says he has 4 children and considers her kids as his own. I have started to give gifts to all of the kids during special occasions where we all gather like Christmas and Easter. His wife has thanked me for always including her kids when it comes to things like that. However, when it comes to birthday parties my brothers side only gets invites to his bio kids parties but not to his step kids. I am not sure how we should interpret this gesture. I am also unsure of how to promote a healthy blending of our family to the step children, I do not want to over step or force a relationship with the kids. Any tips would be helpful.


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Emily - posted on 06/21/2016




Hello, Nicki! It’s good of you to want to promote healthy blending with your brother’s step kids. It’s sweet of you to make an effort to talk to your sister-in-law, too, but looks like she is uncomfortable with something. Do you think it might be helpful if you speak to your brother openly about what you feel? Do you meet them frequently or is it just Christmas and Easter? Have you tried connecting with her separately on a personal note?

Ev - posted on 06/21/2016




That is an odd question. Have you asked your brother why she does this? Maybe he can enlighten you about why she is like this. My thoughts are that maybe she is uncomfortable about doing so for some reason, she is not sure if you guys would really want to be there, maybe she is being protective of her kids for some reason (some ladies on here post about step relatives not treating their kids the same as the bio kids in giving presents or recognition as being part of family), and many others I can not name because I just do not know. If your brother refuses to answer maybe ask her about it. Just be gentle. Just ask her why you guys are not invited to the steps birthday parties when you would love to come join in and help them celebrate. Do not be pushy about it if she refuses to let you come. I would just send a gift or card to them anyhow and let it go. Maybe she has had some issues in past too that you do not know about.

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