Over 22 million blended families exist in the United States today. In the nation, 1 in 10 children live with a stepparent and biological parent.
How did your children first meet your new partner? And when you remarried? Parents often mistakingly assume that their children will be happy because they are happy. They expect children to love the new spouse regardless of whether they are emotionally ready or able to accept a stepparent.
The therapists and counselors at Miami Counseling & Resource Center can help children come to terms with the loss of the original family by understanding the feelings of loss and grief all children experience when a divorce occurs, and again when a parent remarries and a stepfamily is formed. Many children hold on to the dream that mom and dad will get back together long after the divorce is final, regardless of how miserable or difficult the marriage may have been.
Some parents may have unrealistic expectations about their children’s ability to accept the new family. Stepfamilies may need a forum to discuss thoughts, feelings and ideas about their new family unit. Each family member has new and shifting roles. In counseling, we can address issues such as dealing with different rules in different homes, helping stepsiblings get along, understanding a stepparent, discipline problems, jealousy and dealing with the ex spouses. Together, the goal is to develop realistic expectations, boundaries, respect and most of all, open communication.