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5 Common Problems Blended Families Face And How To Resolve Them

Bringing two partners with their children together can be tricky, but blended families are more common now than ever with the increasing divorce and remarriage rates. Blending families comes with many unique and unexpected challenges. The children may be accustomed to different family routines and parenting styles. Conflict in visitation schedules can lead to arguments and cause stress. It can also take time for the stepsiblings to get along and adapt to the new family system. Worse, disputes between stepparents and the other parents outside the family can cause tension.  

Achieving perfect cohesion in your blended family does not come instantaneously. It takes years, if not months, to figure out new relationships and adapt to the changes. You can visit to know what to expect and why your relationship with the new family members is essential. Being proactive in addressing potential issues can make the transition period seamless. Additionally, speaking to a therapist about the new routines and modifications can help you cope better.  

If you plan to start a blended family or are already in one, here are some common problems you may encounter and how to solve them.  

  • Sibling Rivalry  

When forming a blended family, competition between the children can intensify and be more complicated. Although sibling rivalry exists in almost all families, competition between stepsiblings can be more complex because they may not be comfortable with one another. The adjustment can be difficult for a kid who hasn’t shared a parent before. 

Talk to your partner to ensure you’re on the same page about dealing with this kind of conflict. The problem won’t be solved if one of you accuses the other person’s kid of causing conflicts or rifts. If you have different discipline styles, agree on one to avoid more problems.  

No matter what you were used to, rewards and consequences must be similar for all the kids. Don’t encourage rivalry between them; instead, applaud and support kindness. 

  • Lack Of Family Bonds 

You and your new partner want to feel like one big happy family that can share, have fun, and depend on each other. On the other hand, the kids may not be comfortable with the new partner or with each other. Sometimes, it may feel like they are living with strangers.  

Don’t expect to bond with the new family members overnight. It usually takes time to come to terms with new family relationships, enhance co-existence, and adapt to new routines. You can start slowly by creating new family traditions like going out to dinner every weekend or reading a book together every night. Allow all the members of your blended family to adjust to the new set-up on their own terms. 

  • Conflicting Feelings About Stepparents 

Another common problem is that children usually get confused about how to relate to their stepparents. Many children initially feel hatred towards their new stepparent. Contradictorily, positive feelings towards the biological parent can also increase. These polarizing emotions may be difficult for children to make sense of; hence, they may need guidance in order to deal with the transition. 

You can tactically resolve this issue by talking to your kids about how they feel about their stepparent and letting them know that it is not a matter of replacement. Point out that it’s possible to love their stepparent and biological parents simultaneously. Emphasize how love is something that comes in endless abundance. You can also take this opportunity to share with your kids how having a stepparent is like having an additional support system.

  • Identity Confusion 

Several factors of starting a new family can result in identity issues, especially for young children. For example, if their mom and stepdad are now living together, the children can get more attached to the stepdad than their biological father, which can confuse them. Another instance is when the mother changes her last name to that of her new partner, and her children keep their last name. This can cause confusion and detachment from the mother. 

To deal with such issues, start having conversations about such changes in advance, preferably before officially forming the new family. Notifying the children about the changes and allowing them to share how they feel about them can help them adjust better.  

  • Legal Disputes 

Bringing two families together can magnify the legal issues that might have arisen during separation. For example, during divorce, you were allowed to have the house, but when your new spouse comes into the home, your ex-spouse suddenly demands that the legal agreements concerning the house be modified. Financial issues can also emerge from the existing legal problems or intervention fees. Therefore, you must be proactive and prepared for increased expenses concerning legal matters before creating a blended family.  

Talking to your legal advisor about the challenges that might arise after starting a blended family is a wise decision. Your lawyer can also help you estimate the expected expenditure to make necessary adjustments. More importantly, it is essential to keep the children out of these legal disputes as much as possible. 


Blended families have their own set of unique problems. Sometimes, you may experience these difficulties and may be tempted to call it quits with your blended family. But with patience, good communication, and love, these problems can be resolved.  

Starting a functional blended family requires hard work and time. The eventual connections are worth the effort and can last a lifetime.



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