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Blended / Stepfamily Issues

Creating a stepfamily is an adventure based on hope, yet rooted in a history of loss. Successfully, blending families who have lost a parent, whether through divorce or death, is a process by which dreams and expectations for a better life must be adjusted to match reality by all members of the family. Whether you are in a stepfamily now or considering remarriage, therapy is most helpful as participants are guided in respectful conversations acknowledging, preparing for and/or addressing the inevitable challenges of stepfamily relationships.

Facts about Blended Family / Step-Family

The US Bureau of Census relates:

  • 1300 new stepfamilies are forming every day.
  • Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.
  • The average marriage in America lasts only seven years.
  • One out of two marriages ends in divorce.
  • 75% remarry
  • 66% of those living together or remarried break up, when children are involved.
  • 80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers.
  • 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent’s current partner.

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Blended Family/ Step-Family Challenges

Based on the Mayo Clinic:

As you blend two families, differences in parenting, discipline, lifestyle, etc., can create challenges and become a source of frustration for the children. Agreeing on consistent guidelines about rules, chores, discipline, and allowances will show the kids that you and your spouse intend to deal with issues in a similar and fair way.

Other common challenges include:

  • Age differences.
  • Parental inexperience.
  • Changes in family relationships.
  • Difficulty in accepting a new parent.
  • Coping with demands of others.
  • Changes in family traditions.
  • Parental insecurities.
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