When Two Families Become One

To raise a child, while meeting all of her or his social, emotional and intellectual needs is best done with the help of a village.

These days, households come in many shapes and sizes, often blended and extended. As family units meld together, change can bring a significant degree of uncertainty for all.

It may take many months for a blended family to find their rhythm and to learn to function as a family unit, especially when cultures and beliefs may differ. As a new step-parent, give yourself time to allow feelings to develop while you get to know each other.

Changes to family structure require adjustment time for everyone involved. The children may feel loss and grief over their parents no longer being together and may show their feelings by acting out, especially when coping with the possibility of a new home, school and routine. Everyone will transition at their own pace. Communication is pivotal to building relationships and maintaining harmony. 

A blended family is a new family and you will need to build your own history and traditions over time.

Consistency and flexibility are key to setting up new household routines while honouring yourselves and one another. Try not to lose sight of the many wonderful people in your village and embrace the opportunity to grow together.

By Sheri M.