Blended families, or stepfamilies, are now common in the United States.
Bringing two parents and their children together can be challenging. Children may be used to different parenting styles and family routines. Visitation or conflict between separating parents can cause stress. Conflict between stepparents and parents that live outside the new family can also increase stress. Another point of potential conflict is any new stepsiblings. It can take time for children to adapt to the new family structure. It may help to speak with a therapist about the transition before it begins.
Stress in a new family situation is normal. The transition may appear to have gone well. Even then, there is often some stress. The term “blended family” might imply a smooth transition. But the early years of a blended family are likely to be difficult.
It can take time for both families to get used to living together. This can be due to many factors, including:
- Different parenting and discipline styles
- Development of new relationships
- Strong or conflicting emotions
These challenges can occur even if everyone got along before living in the same space.
People who seek help for blended family issues are often able to regain a sense of trust in others. This may improve their relationships and overall sense of well-being.