Blended Families

What are blended families?

Blended families are any time one or more families come together to form a new one, usually as a result of divorce, remarriage, or marriage.  They are also referred to as stepfamilies.  This creates an opportunity to establish new roles, routines, and traditions, but can also pose some serious challenges.

Therapy and blended families

Therapy can help new families understand one another’s expectations while enhancing their communication and emotional attachment.

Stepparents can learn how to:

  • support their spouse
  • engage in healthy relating with stepchildren
  • maintain their voice in the family system
  • balance the role of spouse and stepparent

Single or divorced parents can learn:

  • ways communicate the needs of their family
  • how to incorporate the expectations of their partner and partner’s family
  • support their spouse
  • balance the role of spouse and parent

Therapy can help blended families sort through the logistics of holidays, household responsibilities, and daily interactions.  These events can lead to high conflict when not talked about in advance.

Challenges in Blended Families

Many challenges are present in stepfamilies, several that are present in traditional families.  Any time you bring together two different people with two different experiences, emotions, and interpretations of events, there is the potential for conflict.

Conflict can be positive.  It’s not always a bad thing.  It’s an opportunity to hear other sides, express your side, and increase your knowledge and awareness of yourself and others.

Non-traditional families may bring about additional challenges as there are more people to consider both in and out of the new family.  Additionally, each member of the newly blended family is bringing all their past experiences and expectations to the table.  It can become complicated.  Therapy can help.

If you have questions or concerns, schedule a consultation today.

Additional resources for blended families:

National Stepfamily Resource Center

Educational Resources

blended families

blended families