Will Stepsiblings at the Labor Day Gathering Be No Picnic?


Are you trying to figure out how to blend stepsiblings into the end of the summer labor day gathering?


Rituals like Labor Day events are the glue and the bond of family life. They patch up disputes and give us the architecture of a year full of celebrations to mark family history. They are the touchstones for rites and family passages and keep us gathering over and over again to celebrate and observe those landmarks. Rituals also give form to every day we spend and are the counterpoints of the turning clock when the family can gather and talk, share and gossip.

Reinvent your labor day get-together through a new twist that really makes an effort   includes stepsiblings and re-glue that jagged bond.  Create activities that everyone can join -– blood step or half. Check ahead and find out what everyone likes to do. If they are step kids or stepsiblings make sure you have fun things to do ahead of time that they enjoy. Make sure everyone is an included, especially new member of the family like stepsiblings who may feel like third wheels in your clan. If they have a difficult time blending (most do) – reach out to make them part of the group. Understand their reluctance to join an existing blood family where they have little history or a nasty Cinderella nightmare history. Bring them up to the top floor of the castle.

Gathering for ritual occasions like labor day or any holidays, allows you to spend time together as a family and gives kids and  their siblings the tools to solve problems, negotiate and compromise and learn the skills of working together as a group. It can build those bonds so future sibling, ” I Hate You stories” , are not created in the here and now whether siblings are is half, blood, or step.


About momlovesyoubest

Cathy Cress holds an MSW in Aging from U.C. Berkeley. Her new book Mom Loves You Best, Forgiving and Forging Sibling Relationships , New Horizon Press, was published October 2010. Cress’s book , Handbook of Geriatric Care Management, Jones and Bartlett, is the bible of geriatric care management and is out out in a third edition in February 2011 .Her book Care Managers, Working With the Aging Family, Jones and Bartlett,2008 is one of the few major books on the aging family. Ms. Cress is the founder of GCM Consult ,working with small and national who want to add or launch GCM businesses. She is on the faculty at the University of Florida in their on line master’s in geriatric care management -GCM . She has taught geriatric care management at San Francisco State University , UC Berkeley and teaches at Cabrillo College and San Mateo College. She was founder and director of Cresscare, a GCM business, for 25 years.
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