Blended families are formed when parents and their children from previous relationships come together as a family. Bringing once-separate families together to create a new family can present unique challenges for the parents and children. But can also add tremendous benefits to everyone, including resilience and new relationships. When you’re prepared with the right tools, you and your blended family can thrive!
Blended Family Trends
Blended families are the norm more than ever. The United States Census Bureau reports that more than 50% of marriages end in divorce, and over 1300 new stepfamilies are formed each day.
Through research, experts have discovered trends to help your blended family not just to survive but successfully thrive.
How To Thrive With a Blended Family
1. Practice compassion for yourself and your new blended family.
It can feel unsettling when you experience difficulties as you adjust to becoming a blended family. Everyone is learning their new roles, and you won’t do yours perfectly. Be realistic and count on challenging times — and remember to be compassionate to your family and yourself.
When the kids act out, showing signs of stress, decide to put yourself in their shoes to understand what they are experiencing from their perspective. And determine that you and your partner will practice plenty of self-care, so you are mentally and emotionally equipped to meet the demands of a blended family.
2. Create safety in your home.
To thrive as a blended family, create an atmosphere of trust and safety in your home. This means that everyone in the family will feel heard, respected, and loved. Here are a few helpful tips:
- Always respond respectfully regarding all the children and your exes if your blended family was formed after a break-up or divorce. It’s okay to acknowledge that you may not all like one another, but everyone can count on being respected. Your children will pick up on subtle eye-rolling, snarky remarks, or conversations you have when you don’t realize they’re listening. This undermines trust, which is critical for a home where everyone feels safe.
- To the best of your ability, model awareness of the emotional needs of other family members and model your desire to meet them. This includes listening to understand, so others feel acknowledged and heard. Value and respect everyone’s differences even when you disagree.
- Hold space for everyone as they express their feelings about the new family adjustments.
3. Start new traditions.
Make memories together by starting new family traditions that create warm connections and foster strong bonds. Even something simple like a weekly pizza and fun game or movie night does wonders to help everyone enjoy one another and bond.
4. Seek out support
Family counseling and blended family support groups can provide inspiration and insightful resources to help you create a harmonious blended family. Have the strength to seek out helpful support, so you don’t feel alone.
Eunoia Can Help You and Your Blended Family Thrive
At Eunoia, we understand blended family dynamics, and we offer skilled family counseling services designed to equip your blended family to succeed. If you would like to learn more, contact us today for a confidential appointment. You aren’t alone, and your blended family can thrive!