Blended families, or stepfamilies, are becoming increasingly common in the United States. Studies show that nearly half of the marriages in the United States end in divorce and that at least half of the nation’s children live with a biological parent and the parent’s partner (when the partner is not the other biological parent), who might be called a stepparent or a “bonus” parent.
The joining of two parents and their respective children can create challenges, as children may be accustomed to different parenting styles and family routines. As they adapt to the new family structure, children are likely to experience stress due to visitations or conflict between their biological parents, between one parent and the other parent’s new partner, or with their stepsiblings. Before blending a family, all members may find it beneficial to speak to a therapist about the transition.