Blending a family through marriage can be exciting. More family members can mean a larger support system for everyone. Stepparents have a unique opportunity to become an important role model in the life of a child and stepsiblings of all ages can create lifelong bonds. Merging families may open the door for new cultural and religious experiences that can add depth to the life of a child.
Unfortunately, blending a family can also prove to be very challenging. Bringing together two separate groups of individuals will inevitably require some adjusting. Know that the transition period may be handled differently for each family member. For example, younger children are often more accepting and adjust quicker than adolescents. Children of all ages may struggle with new rules, roles, and siblings and may feel like they are a threat to “the way things used to be.” They may also resist a stepparent because they feel the need to remain loyal to their parent. Remember that children need to feel loved, accepted, and important. Children in blended families need to feel they are heard especially during the transition. Work towards maintaining a dialogue about the joys and challenges within the family while everyone continues to adjust.