My step daughter doesn't get along with my son: Advice?

I have a 9-year-old stepdaughter and a 3-year-old son. I married my husband when she was 2, and then we had our son when she was 5. Every other weekend that we get her, my son gets so excited to see her, but she’s just so indifferent to him. He will literally compliment her, tell her she’s beautiful, try to hug her, try to talk to her, try to play with her, and she could care less. It hurts my feelings. He gets frustrated too that she won’t pay him any attention. Very rarely do I see them playing nicely together. Yes, I know that siblings fight and all, but I thought things would be a little different because they don’t see each other every day, and there is a four year age gap. We’ve tried to explain to her that she’s the older sibling; therefore, she should set an example, but I don’t know if she wants to understand. Has anybody been in this situation?


I would say with having a split parenting more than likely she doesn’t see it the same way that you see it she is most likely jealous of the fact that your son is there 24/7 and enjoying it she is probably having some type of emotional detachment from being split between parents… I would potentially go somewhere with her where she enjoys and where she’s comfortable and ask her what emotions are feeling she’s having to drive her to act that way or to have those emotions or feelings towards him…


She is rebelling to see how far you parents will let it go on. The four of you need to talk and air ALL problems. Someone has a deep resentment towards someone. If need be you might need a professional. This is opinlon

Being a product of a broken home myself as a kid, it is so hard and even hurtful to imagine in your own mind that another child has a closer connection to your own daddy than you do. It’s so very hard to understand at 9 years old. I mean think about it. She only sees her dad on the weekends, and even though the other child is her own brother it doesn’t take away the pain, resentment, and jealousy. Does your husband get to talk to her and maybe once and awhile get to do one on one daddy daughter time together, just to make her feel special, like she does count in his eyes because to her right now that may be all she really needs to feel. Girls are a bit more sensitive also.

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It sounds like another parent may be causing this. Been there and done that.


Read up on ideas just be patient dont force it you will start to see a difference

This isn’t a half sibling issue, this is a 9 year old issue. What you see as him being a sweet adorable loving little brother she sees as super annoying and probably pestering. With their age gap and the fact that she’s a girl and he’s a boy they don’t share common interests and she is probably getting a bit old for “playing” the games he would be interested in but for you to take it personally is only going to lead to your own resentment of her and a divide in your family. I’m 6 years older than my brother and while I loved him and was protective of him I didn’t want to hang out with him.


I have a now 21 yr old step daughter and an 8 yr old son. I also have a 20 yr old daughter from a previous relationship. The 21 yr old stopped coming over to see us when our son was born. We’ve seen her maybe 5 times since then . Sometimes there isnt anything you can do. Also it may be the step kids bio Mom causing problems. That was what happened to us. I have to remind my son that he has 2 sisters and not just 1. Its sad.


Well my Sister has always resented me bx I ruined her world. She feels her life would be better without me around. Some siblings are just like that. My parents tries talking with her but she wasn’t having it. I will pray for more unity and maybe show her more love. It’s so crazy!


There is an age gap that’s going to happen. Plan fun events for them to do together . And when home have them read together that is some bonding time.

Also she may be going through some stuff as far as she not with her dad but her little brother is . Communicate with her and show her she’s always just as important

My son and his halfbrother are 9 years and he still can’t stand him but is nicer to him than when he was younger…but my son is close to his half siblings I have… I will say this my son was jealous that his half brother and three step Brothers got to live with his dad and he didn’t so it could be something deeper :woman_shrugging:

I have a 14 year old step son. A 13 year year old daughter and an 11 year old. When my step son comes over which is very rare… not seen him in nearly 2 years. He will hang out with my daughter but has nothing to do with my son. When they all forat met my son was clingy and wouldnt leave him alone. This was too much for my step son… he wanted to chill but couldnt.
I think your step child is just behaving like any other child. I wouldnt force it as you may push them away. Just let it be and play family games together. Have fun as a family and dont dwell too much on their relationship… if it happens it happens xxx

I have 4 children and they are all almost 5 years apart. I have never had an issue with the age difference. I can see where it would hurt his feelings. Most big sisters love being big sisters. Maybe not all of them apparently. I also have a step daughter that is 11 she thinks she is grown… she has been exposed to a lot of adult convos and such with her mom… she has no interest in playing with my 10 and 6 year old and that’s fine but it also makes my daughters feel bad. I just explain to my daughters that not everyone likes to do the same things. We only see her every other week now.

Me and my brother are 5 years apart and he annoyed the shit out of me when I was 9. I dont think this is a half sibling thing
… ounce my brother turned like 18 and I was 23 it got better but we didnt pay a lot of attention to each other growing up. She’s also probably too old to play what he wants to play…I didnt even like Disneyland at 9. I thought it was boring


If she is the only child on the weekends that she isn’t with y’all, maybe she doesn’t know how to fully embrace a sibling. It will take time, but in would see about having her spend more time with yall (perhaps extended holidays or summers) so that way she might develop a relationship with her little brother.

Your step daughter is 9 and your son is 3. That’s a large gap. She may feel she has nothing in common. Their 6 years apart. As long as she is not being mean, I believe it’s normal for a girl that’s 9 to not want to play with a 3 year old little brother. I would not take it personal.


My brother and sister are both way younger then me I’m the oldest of 3 shes 9 she isn’t going to want to play with a 3 year old me and my siblings never really got along until they were older and we could do more then things together she might also feel some resentment because at one time she was an only child and now shes not in the end she will come around and she might also feel left out do yall spend as much time with her as yall do yalls son I remember being 9 and not wanting to have anything to do with my siblings my sister more then anything honestly I’d just sit her down just yall and her and talk to her ask her how she feels and see if there’s something yall can do help her out and also do things that both of them will like

Been thru that!! I had 2 boys, my husband had a boy and a girl! All close in age!! His little girl was the girl I never had, then comes along our little girl!! Same issues, even as an infant. I had to make sure when they were with us that I took time and spent it just with her!!! Maybe if you each took her somewhere or did something just with her, it would make a difference!! All kids need their special time!! We have always made sure ours had it. 10 years later, she’s 21 and our littlest is 10 and they are inseparable. I know they are both girls, but the boys have a very special bond now as well!!! It takes a LOT of time!!! :heart:

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Just a kid thing I would say. My older girls don’t want to play with my 4 year old because he messes up things they try to do. Even my 7 year old.gets upset with him and him and her a full siblings. I would definitely say normal. She probably isn’t trying to be mean just wants to do her own thing as she is at the age of.more independence and not wanting to bothered by the younger age and less maturity.


Like most behaviors…its learned and can be unlearned with loving guidance. Maybe your son should go visit grandma when she comes over a couple times. It’s has to be hard for a little one to feel rejected by someone he loves unconditional. This is were learned bad habits happen.

I am one of 7 siblings, all from the same parents and we still went through this! The older ones never wanted the younger ones around. Out of 7 I am closest to to one sister who is only 2 years younger. I thinks this is normal and nothing to stress about.

I have an 11 year old daughter, son is 6, and 2 year old daughter. Also one on the way. My 11 year old doesn’t care to play with either of her siblings majority of the time, especially her 2 year old sister. She loves her and is protective of her but she gets annoyed with her. They have no common ground. I say it’s just an age gap issue…my 11 and 6 year old don’t play together as much anymore either…as long as she isn’t showing aggression towards your son I would say this is normal behavior for siblings. Hell my brother and I are two years apart and just now get along lol we are 29 and 31

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Talk to her about a blended family Most kids hear the negative stuff from parent. And they adapt to this therefore wanting to protect their parents. She maybe talk about things she 9 she can understand

She will grow out of it. My son was seven when my new husband and I had my youngest. He acted like he hated the idea. And wasn’t always the best. But they are now 14 & 7 and it’s a lot smoother than the first few years. Hang in there.

She is probably acting out because she feels less important.He is with you all the time. I would suggest doing some 1:1 time with her without your son.

I say it’s a sibling thing I’m the youngest my brother and I are 10, 12 and 14 years apart in age. I have nothing to do with my siblings for the obvious reasons, when I was a kid though I wanted them to play and they never wanted to play with me. But I wonder if it could be some resentment as well.

I have 2 step kids but no younger kids. They tell us about their younger brother & sister and that they like them. And it’s their half brother & sister. So each fam is different and the same in some ways! But their mother is very controlling

I think she feels left out that she only gets to be there every other weekend, and still has to share attention from the parents

Theyre 6 years apart… All she sees is her annoying baby brother… Give it a few more years…

I think it’s awesome that you care! That says a TON for you as a stepmom. I echo the idea of spending time just the two of you


i have grandchildren that are aged 9 and 5. The 9 yr old us a girl and tge 5 yr old is a boy. They dont play together hardly at all. They argue all the time.

It’s not a kid thing. It may not be cool to hang with a 3 year old BUT ignoring his complements and him is NOT OK. Maybe it could be from her mother’s view of your son. There is a lot of factors, but all girls enjoy complements, it boosts their spirits. I have 6 kids, 5 with my ex and 1 with my current. My 5 boys would be jealous of my daughter at times but never ignored her completely and never turned down a hug or tea party when she offered.

She may not understand why your son gets to be with dad all the time and she doesn’t. She’s young she will need help understanding

Get her some counseling


Don’t force it. I’m in a very close situation. 8 and 4. Both girls. I thought oh yes sisters for life! Nope, not yet. They’ll eventually bond if I stay out of it. Forcing either one will just cause lifelong resentment. Let them be individuals. They’ll be brother sister when they both are ready. Every small child is super annoying to his or her sibling. It’ll happen just calm down

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Different dads thats why

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My 13yr old and 3yr old hate each other right now🤷🏼‍♀️

I have an ex step daughter who is 25 and 22. I raised them since 7 & 4. We had 2 kids together. When her dad and me split, I was still a mom to them. I got remarried and had another baby and he had 2 kids that he had full custody of. Me, my husband and ex husband spend Christmas together in one house. The 25 year old put all 6 names on her as her siblings. We don’t do 1/2 or step. They all say those are my brothers and sisters. They are all very close. I tend to think because my ex and husband ex wife’s gave away the kids. So I am their mom. I’m thinking maybe the other parent isn’t being a team player in your situation. I don’t really care for my ex but I do things for the kids. We are 1500 miles apart but we sacrifice to make the family a happy family. We don’t want the kids to choose between us. We get told we have a weird family but the kids are happy.

Lock her in the attic and only let her out for chores!


sge is a spoiled brat as I see it

She is used to being an only child or still is if her mom doesn’t have other kids. She could feel “replaced.” Babies and toddlers tend to get more attention because they more attention in the sense of they can’t do things for themselves and you have to keep them from getting hurt every second of the day. A 9 year old is more independent, but she needs attention too, likely from her dad and she needs to feel like she is important too.


My 8 yr old daughter isn’t so nice to her 4 yr old brother or her 4 yr old step sister. It’s normal sibling crap but it’s also a huge age gap right now. Even though it’s only 4 years…

My 8 yr old is extremely independent and into “big girl” things. My toddlers are very dependent, don’t know how to play her games per her rules, and are still in to little kid things. Sounds like she just needs some “her time” regularly. Does she have her own room? Own toys? Does she ever get an hour to play alone?

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I think it just her not wanting to play with a little kid my daughter is the same way she’s 10 he’s 3 i make my daughter play with him at least 30 min to an hr a day just so they can interact with each other the rest of the day she on YouTube or tictok but i also have her do some big kid stuff with him like make slime or at least play with it together and paint

She’s just a 9 year old little girl that doesn’t want to play with a 5 year old she should play with kids her age


My 16 year old cannot stand my 11 year old most of the time. They rarely ever get along or have much to do with each other. That’s a big age gap. Your step daughter would be close to getting tired of playing with most “little kid” toys and your child is still a toddler, they wouldn’t have really anything in common.


Sounds like normal siblings stuff you can only do so much having her just a few days.
Younger ones always adore the older ones, reversal is rarely true.
It’s not her job to keep her younger sibling happy.

Age doesn’t matter I have a 3 year old son and his step sister’s are 9 and 7 and they get along well with him they play with him all the time maybe her mom is telling her something different or she’s jealous.


9 year old little girls can be brats. I have an almost 11 year old that treats her brother like crap for absolutely no reason

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Could it be that bio-mommy is feeding her a bunch of bs that her little brother isn’t actually her brother or worth her time bcuz mommy n daddy didn’t make him together? My sister had this issue w her step-son for a few years.


None of my children like each other. :woman_shrugging:

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Maybe she’s jealous having to share attention.

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my kids r the same it’s just the age gap

I don’t care what her problem is she’s going to emotionally screw up her sibling if she doesn’t get her crap together. I had to have this talk with my stepchild as well. My sister treated me like this growing up and it created life login emotional problems. You need to get that little girl into counseling it’s not okay to let her be like that whatsoever. She is emotionally ostracizing and hurting her sibling and it’s creating anxiety and him trying to reach out to her. She needs to have a talk into and it needs to be reinforced enough is enough


Maybe her mom has something to do with her attitude.


Maybe there is a jealousy issue that the other child gets to live with “her” father all the time while she only sees him 4 days per month? That can be hard on a child.