Blending the members of two families together to become a new step family can come with both joys and disappointments.
Things often do not go to plan with children, and sometimes the parents themselves resisting the changes needed to become a new, functioning and happy family.
Adjusting to the new family structure will take some family members more time than others as each will have their own pace and way of being with their new family members.
A few things to keep in mind when blending your families together
- Some of the changes may be difficult, and it is likely that not everyone in the new blended family will be happy about the changes that have been made to their family structure.
- Understand that not everyone will automatically like everyone else in the new family structure.
- Try not to expect more than others may feel able to give, especially early on in the piece.
- Remember to always treat others in the new family structure with respect, and expect the same in return from other family members.
Helping a smooth transition
Accept that there will be some differences between some of the new blended family members initially. There are some things you can do to help make the process of bringing a step family together smoother and less stressful for everyone, for example-
- Create new family traditions but also try to observe/respect the old ones that some family members may be very attached to.
- Discuss disciplinary roles with your partner before blending your families together and make sure you support each other in these roles.
- Establish clear boundaries with family members while also understanding that boundaries may differ in other households that some family members (especially children) may need to spend time in.
- Keep the lines of communication open; family members will feel safer in the new blended family if they know that that they can express any issues they may be having and will not be judged for how they feel.
- Remember to have fun together; spending time together is a great way to bond your new step family together.
These are by no means the only things to think about when you are blending families together and each family and family member may differ in their needs.
If you are experiencing real difficulties bringing your blended family together it may be useful to speak to a professional counsellor or psychologist who has useful avenues of experience working with families.
|Blended families are complex, but they can work well. It takes time for everyone to adjust. Don’t expect too much too soon.|