Are step children to be included in all extended functions?

by karen
(clinton township, mi, USA)

I'm a 42 y/o mother of a 9 y/o daughter. My biological brother is remarried now one year and has one biological son and two step sons. My daughter does not play with the step cousins very much, as she is shy and the step cousins are 3 and 6 years older than her, respectivly. She does and has, however, always played with her biological cousin. Am I morally obligated to invite her step cousins if I invite her biological cousin, who is even closer to her age (11), to her children's birthday party?

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Party Invitations
by: Ms P Etiquette

Dear Karen,

Please understand that there is no moral obligation involved in gracefully handling party invitations in a blended family. It is understandable that you feel uncertain in this situation since your brother's family structure is quite new. Getting close to step relatives takes time.

Invite those children that your daughter wants at her party. It makes sense to invite kids close to her age. You might want to let their mother know in advance so she does not feel as if you are snubbing her children. That would be very poor manners!

Ms. Practical Etiquette

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