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The Dynamics of Blended Families

Published on 6 May 2024

Are you part of a blended family and wondering how amalgamating two families together is going to work? Meeting a new partner and bringing together each other’s families (creating a stepfamily), whether you have young or adult children, can be a challenging experience.

However, a new relationship doesn´t have to make things uncomfortable. Understanding how to adapt to the new situation will make life easier for everyone.

This article gives some practical blended family advice and guidance on how to create a harmonious situation.

Parenting styles and discipline

Coordinating parenting styles and discipline approaches can be challenging in blended families, especially when children have different sets of rules and expectations. To create a unified approach to parenting it is essential to agree on how you will bring up the children, taking into account consistency and compromise.

Communication and conflict resolution

Effective communication must take place to address conflicts and resolve misunderstandings which happen not only in blended family relationships but in ‘normal’ families too. If there is a problem you should invite open dialogue and active listening, allowing each family member to express their feelings.

Even very young children should be allowed to voice their opinions and just as importantly, be listened to.

Good to know

Approximately 1 in 3 families in the UK are blended families, which includes 1.1 million children living in a new stepfamily

Role clarity

A crucial piece of blended family advice is to establish clear roles and boundaries. Family members may need time to define their roles not only as parents but as siblings and extended family members.

For example, a new partner may not have children of their own and not be used to disciplining children. However, successful step-parenting difficulties don’t only arise with young children. Older children can feel jealous of a new partner and attempt to make life difficult, which requires an adult approach from all parties.

The adjustment period

Getting used to living in a new family, whether you live in the same property or at a distance can be difficult if you don´t like change. Everyone needs a different adjustment period within the family unit. This transition may involve emotional ups and downs as family members adapt to new routines and relationships.

Good to know

It can take time to adjust to having new children or family members. Don’t ever force the situation, allow everyone to adjust to the new stepfamily dynamics at their own pace.

Cultural and value differences

One of the blended family challenges is bringing together adults and children with different cultural backgrounds and values. For example, something as simple as ‘no mobile phones at the dinner table’ to differences in diet can all present the need to respect other people’s way of life.

Embracing these differences can enrich the blended family dynamics and teach cultural sensitivity and the need to understand other people do things differently.



How can Lactium® help contribute to successful blended families? We all suffer from stress at times, which can make life seem hard. Lactium® is a natural, milk-based product that can help diminish feelings of stress and anxiety, perhaps caused by adjusting to living in a new family situation.

To find out more about how Lactium® can assist members of the family of all ages to feel a little calmer contact us.