Transitions: Blending Families

The transition of divorce is hard enough, but with that transition comes another, the transition of blending families.

If you are a child of divorced parents or have experienced a death of a parent, this transition is inevitable in your life. Blending families is hard; it stirs up many emotions and difficulties. It takes time for the transition to become non-existent and become the family’s new normal, but with these tips the transition will be easier for yourself, your family, and your new family.

Moving in together

Making a house a home with a new family is hard. You grew up in separate households so you have different habits and are used to doing things a certain way, but when you blend families you have to compromise. Compromise is key for living with your new stepfamily. You have to understand that this transition is new for them too, and it will take time for them to get accustomed to it just like it will for you. Taking the time to learn their habits and talk openly about any problems that may arise will create a healthy living environment for everyone.

Accepting and liking your new step- parent

Your new step- mom or step- dad will never replace your biological mom or dad, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get to know them, like them, and treat them with respect. Your mother or father married this person for a reason, so give them a chance to be a good stepparent to you.

Accepting and liking your new step- siblings

Like the relationship with your step- parent, the more effort you put into your relationship with your new step- siblings the easier it will be to live together and become a family. If you have siblings but your stepsibling is an only child, make sure you and your siblings include them.

Spending holidays together

The saying, “old habits die hard” is true. Your holiday traditions and your stepfamilies holiday traditions will merge together to create new traditions. This change can be hard to accept, especially during the holidays, but welcoming it with a positive attitude and an open mind will ensure the holiday cheer.

Tips for parents

  • Don’t expect your child and new step- child to acclimate to the transition right away.
  • Give your child and new step- child time to adjust to the blended family.
  • If possible, give your child and your new step- child their own rooms at the new house.
  • Listen to your child’s feelings about the transition.

For more help and advice with the transition from elementary school to middle school check out Harvest Time Partner’s Face to Face conversation games.

Harvest Time Partners thanks contributing writer Emily Garber for her insights on life’s transitions.