Hug Me, Brotha!

What It's Like to Grow Up With Step-Siblings


Sarah Haylow, Writer

Separation and divorce sometimes comes with its struggles. Changes were occurring in his family dynamic and he is now faced with having to welcome new people into his life. Many students at Heritage have gone through the experience of having to adjust to and accept people who now bare the title of “step-sibling”.


Accepting a step-sibling is often a hard process for kids whos’ parents have divorced. They’re faced with the obstacle of having to welcome a new person into their lives, someone who will now become a part of their life. They’re apart of their family and the process of accepting and forming a relationship with a new sibling can prove to be challenging. 


“I originally didn’t want a new sibling,” Samantha Strunk (12) said. “At first it was really awkward having him in the house…it was really weird.” 


Some step-siblings don’t live together and instead see each other on certain occasions, depending on how old they are. This can make the relationship between step-siblings not as awkward if they live on their own. It doesn’t come without its consequences though, as it can take the opportunity for a potential relationship away.


“I have three older step-siblings that I mostly see on birthdays or holidays,” Clayton Curtis (11) said. “Over time they’ve felt more like siblings, but I still don’t feel closely related to them.”


Making the transition can prove to be demanding for kids who do have to face the discomfort of having a new person living in their home. Sharing their space with someone who they aren’t familiar with can feel strange and invasive, especially when they can’t do anything about it.


“It was a huge change and it had a big impact on me,” Samantha Strunk (12) said. It was weird to suddenly have a stranger living in my house that I had to get to know, whether I liked it or not.”


Often times step siblings have a hard time adjusting to one another and can feel resentment or frustration towards each other. Kids who have step-siblings often feel great frustration with the changes happening in their lives and feel the need to take it out on others.


“Sometimes I would resent one of my step-siblings because he would always disrespect everyone in the house,” Jeremiah Waxler (12) said.


Despite all of the changes happening, step-siblings often grow into their new families and become close with their new ‘siblings’.


“I don’t mind having him around, even though he’s annoying,” Samantha Strunk (12) said. “I think it’s nice to have someone to be there and to talk to; someone who understands.”