What are blended families?
A Blended Family is made when two people decide to live together or get married, and both or one of them already has children, sometimes blended families are called Step Families. Blended Families in fairy stories often have wicked stepmothers, ugly step sisters and evil stepfathers.
Although there can be tricky bits about blending two families together, in real life and it can take time to really get used to your new family, but there are also some great things about having a family like this.
Getting used to new family
Getting used to living with people that you haven’t lived with before, can be very tricky. Everybody has different ways of doing things, so it takes time to get things right, with a lots of sorting out to get things to a place where everyone is feeling comfortable with the way that the new blended family is working.
Common questions about Blended Families
- What will I call my new Step Dad or Step Mum?
- Will the rules stay the same or will we have new ones?
- Do I have to do what my Step Mum or Step Dad tells me?
- Will I still get time with my Dad or Mum by myself?
- Will I have to share a room?
- What will happen at Christmas or on my birthday?
- What if I really don’t get on with my new Step Dad or Step Mum?
- Will my ‘real’ Dad or Mum, the one that I don’t live with, still be able to visit me?
These are questions that should be talked over with a trusted adult. Some kids might want to talk the questions through with everyone in the family, or it might be that they will be happy to talk to their parent alone.
Some great bits about blended families
- It can be great to see your Dad or Mum feeling happy with a new partner.
- Now you have another adult in your life to spend time and to talk with.
- Extra cousins, uncles, aunts and grandparents – so more people to support and love you.
- There might be new stepsisters and brothers to play with. You might even get a new baby sister or brother!
- Being in a Blended Family gives children lots of opportunities to learn how to co-operate, solve problems, adapt and live as part of a family.
How long will it take to get used to my new family?
Every family is a different, so there are no set rules about how long it will take. But there is no doubt that it will take time, sometimes lots of time, for everyone to feel comfortable and safe with the new way that things are.
It can just be different routines that are tricky, or might just be getting used to different types of food that haven’t been a ‘normal’ part of your day-to-day life.
All changes need support and time, so that everyone involved can start to get used and adapt to a new way of life.