How can I make my stepdaughter feel welcome?

We been married 8 years and have a 7 year old plus I’m 15 weeks pregnant. My husband’s 13 year old reached out and is moving in with us. She was very mature and explained her reasoning(she having mental health problems, depression and suicidal thoughts) and honestly I’m all for it! I can’t leave her behind she needs us. Here the thing we are barely making it and we live in a 2 bedroom apartment. I need advice on how to make this child feel welcome and how to I guess make the one bedroom enough for 2 kids without any of them feeling left out on a tight budget. Also any advice on teens in general would be great since I only have a 7 year old.


You’re already well on your way by opening your heart and home to her. You should try asking her what would make her feel welcome. If she was mature in her reasoning for wanting to move in with you, she might surprise you with an honest, straight forward answer. Best of luck! :heart:


It sounds like you’ve conquered the hardest part, accepting her as she is. I’ve worked in the mental health field for 22 years. I currently work with at risk youth. The advice that I would give is always ensure she feels like she belongs in the family unit. You have the opportunity to change her future by being her biggest supporter and mentor. I would sincerely advice you to stay in the mentor lane and not be the person to set rules or punishment. She’s to old for you to parent. Any issues that you have should be taken to her dad and he should set the rules and punishment. As for the lack of space it will be fine. Im sure she and her younger sibling will have some problems sharing but nothing major. Start out by making them work out their differences, if doable. Good Luck Mama!!!


I remember my husband telling me his parents divided his room he shared with his brother. They used the cubby shelf’s so they had some storage too. Might be a good way to give them storage and privacy. Also check on fb marketplace for people selling them for cheap or even free.

1 Like

Be open and honest with her and let her know you have her back. Explain to her that she is very welcome and honestly talk to her as an adult. Let her know she’s welcome to make decorate her side of the room. If she has an issue all she needs to do is tell you so you can work it out. Let her pick out a meal 1 night a week. Example make Friday her pick, your other daughter gets her pick a different day. It includes both of them and shows they are equal.


Is it possible to turn a dining room into a bedroom? When my dad moved us into my step moms house me & my step sister had to share a room & none of us liked it. My dad ended up building doors on the dining room to turn into a bedroom for her.

This is so true. I just hope my daughter realizes this.

As a teen I had to move in with family. It was a hard adjustment
I suggest trying to give her a space of her own. Maybe a corner or whatever you have available.
Just maybe asking what she likes and doesn’t like.
Good luck

Leave room for her to openly communicate with you. Be supportive. Let you know that your there for her and if she ever needs to talk you have open ears and an open heart. Show her love, grace, and understanding. The stage of life she is in is a fragile one. She needs to be heard and not dismissed. Maybe set something up to have one on one time with her doing something she likes?

1 Like

I recently saw a question like this but instead of asking this question, they said they let the child stay on a tent outside and now the child is in their 30s and not capable of being an adult.

This has nothing to do with this post specifically but I can tell you that this is NOT the correct thing to do. Doesn’t seem like you would do that. But just being accepting and listening to her/him is the best thing you can do.

The child won’t look back and say, well there wasn’t enough room In the house but I’m sure will remember you being there for them and listening and opening your heart.


They can share a room ! Maybe put a divider in so they each have their own space . And in the mean time try and look for something bigger or something with a basement or attic that can be made into a liveable space. Get her into therapy and let her go at her own pace


look for portable walls did this for my 2 when moves in take one one one u 2 and enjoy bonding over stuff she wants for her half and even let know she can run into ur room if needs no matter whats even maybe a code u 2 only know if got phone tht u be there asap

Tents with material or sheets dried dye them .hook on ceiling sew ring on middle of sheet hand .you’ll need king size. Can pick up 2nd hand shop

Take a large curtain/sheet and divide the room to give the teenager some privacy. Let her decorate “her side” of the room the way she wants to. Give her space but also let her know you are there for her ANYtime she wants to talk or share feelings with you!


You need to apply for assistance to get a bigger unit. Check into housing authority for section 8. Every city/county does it differently. Sign up for low income apartments. Everything has years long waiting lists. So do it ASAP. It’s illegal in most places for 3 children to share a room. Baby can’t stay in your room forever.

For right now if you or your husband are handy you can build bunk beds that face opposite directions. You can put it in the middle of the room so they each have half the room.

1 Like

find a common ground that you both enjoy and hang out with her! be open to any conversation let her know you are there for her and love her! don’t scold her if she comes to you cuz she’s made a not so good decision. instead use it as a learning tool to help her learn to make good decisions!

1 Like

Ooh you could go garage saleing with her to look for something cute to diy to divide the bedroom up and things to make her side of the room her own. Or save up for new if that’s what she wants.

Prayers for his daughter Shes now deliverd from Ancestral in Jesus mighty name Amene

Google really is your friend here in creating a space for the two of them to share. Google a lot of different subjects: Shared kids room for maximum privacy, shared kids room for private space, shared kids room for small spaces, etc and you can find a few ideas to really maximize the space for each kid in a DYI that you and your husband can fit into your budget. You can let them decorate their space to their liking. Make a small self-care kit for her. A little journal, maybe a little teddy bear- Doesn’t have to be anything too expensive. Make gentle invitations to make her feel part of the home by asking her if she’d like to help you fix supper, include her in meal planning so she can pick out a few meals that she likes. Let her choose a game for family game night. Find out what she is interested in and then do a little side learning so that you can have conversations about it and actually know what you are talking about. At this point in her life, it doesn’t seem like she needs anything materialistic, but what she needs is to feel noticed, loved, cared about and important. Talk to her like she is her own person; don’t compare her to anyone. (All kids deserve that). Teens are pretty fastidious about their privacy and independence. The fact that you don’t want to leave her behind and are welcoming her in with open arms will not go unnoticed. They tend to be moody, and will sometimes keep to themselves for no reason. They don’t like to be pushed out of their comfort zone or made to feel like they are being joked about. Teenagers’ are just smaller versions of you with even more emotions and hormones coursing through their bodies. Most adults can’t control their emotions after having dealt with them for 40 years, but they expect kids and young adults to? Just keep that in mind if you start to get frustrated. You got this.

We’re about to take in my two step kids on top of my two kids. In a two bedroom apartment :sweat_smile: I feel it. They’re all much younger though.

We have 2 bedrooms the kids have the room we have a pull out couch in the living room. It works for us