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TIPS FOR AVOIDING PROBLEMS AND ADVICE FOR HEALTHY BONDING
Stepfamilies, also known as blended families, are more of a norm now than ever.
At least one-third of all children in the U.S. will be part of a stepfamily before they reach age 18. Children in blended families may at first resist the many changes they face.
Fortunately, most blended families are able to work out their growing pains and live together successfully. Open communication, positive attitudes, mutual respect and plenty of love and patience all have an important place in creating a healthy blended family.
In This Article:
What is a blended family?
In a blended family, or stepfamily, one or both partners have been married before. One or both has lost a spouse through divorce or death, and may have children from the previous marriages. They fall in love and decide to remarry, and in turn, form a new, blended family that includes children from one or both of their first households.
While parents are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids or your new spouse’s kids may feel left out of your choice and uncertain about the change. What will the new person in their life mean to them? What will their new step-siblings be like? How will their relationship with their biological parents change?
As you get ready to expand your family, a few important things to remember are:
Given the right support, kids should gradually adjust to their new family members. It is your job to communicate openly, meet their needs for security and give them plenty of time to make a successful transition.