How to Introduce Them
Hopefully, your immediate family has met your stepchild at least once or twice. If you are married to your partner, extended family might have met her at the wedding or any prewedding parties. If not, natural opportunities to meet your family might arise. However, if you are eager for everyone to meet sooner, you can create a comfortable situation where everyone can interact. Having a family party such as a simple cookout or a celebration around a holiday could provide great opportunities. Hosting a party that is specifically for everyone to meet your stepchild might overwhelm her. If you decide to have a general party, make sure that a couple of people who know her well can attend. This should help her feel more comfortable and eliminate any worries she might have about not having anyone with whom to talk. Introducing her to a few people at a time at various events is another approach that can take the awkwardness out of the first meeting.
If you have family members who are her age, it might be nice to set up play dates with them so your stepchild can get to know her peers. These relatives could potentially show her around your town, introduce her to other kids her age, and make her feel more at home in the community as well as in your home. If your stepchild lives with you, relatives who live in the area can help her find her way around school, teach her the social ropes, and keep the boredom at family parties to a minimum. If your stepchild does not live with you, family members her age are still important people she should get to know. If she gets along well with them, she might look forward to coming over if they are going to be in the area. This will give her social interactions with someone other than you and your partner when she is visiting.
Introducing her to family her age is one thing; forcing a friendship between them is another. Make sure you let them decide for themselves if they want to be buddies. They might not, and that is fine; just let it be. However, they will have to tolerate each other, as they are now family!
The comfort of your stepchild is what's most important when introducing her to your extended family. Introduce her to those you are most comfortable with first. If you have an aunt who has always been special to you, tell your stepchild about her before you introduce them. Knowing your aunt is special in your life might peak your stepchild's interest and make her excited about the meeting. Also, if you are comfortable with certain relatives, that will come across in your body language and anything you say about them prior to your stepchild meeting them.
Just as your comfort level comes across, so will any anxiety you may feel. If there are certain family members you dislike, delay introducing them to your stepchild until you absolutely must. Try to introduce them at a busy party or function where there will be plenty of other people or activities to keep your stepchild from being stuck with that family member. Don't frighten her about meeting family members; let her form her own opinions. People react quite differently to different people; she might find the uncle who annoys you hilarious.