The last thing any parent wants to see is their child struggling. Statistics show that American families experience divorce more now, than ever before in history. Nearly 40% of all marriages end in divorce and result in remarriages. Therefore, the children of divorced parents end up in blended families, facing the challenges of learning to cope with their new surroundings and relationships. As your children adjust to this change it can create conflict and resentment as they grow accustom to new parenting styles, new routines and new personalities within the family. Parents, YOU play a critical role in helping your children transition into your blended family. Be Patient. Of course you want to see your children and stepchildren get along and interact well together. Allow the children to have space to create the relationships naturally without “forcing” or having to “pretend” they are “one big happy family,” as this can make things uncomfortable. Other ways to create a smooth transition; would be to include them in the planning process, allow them to keep their connection to their biological families and to set boundaries early.
– Jennifer Bishop, LMHC, Founder and President of Genesis Counseling & Consulting, Inc. in Boca Raton, Florida