What is a major issue when families become blended?

Are you struggling with the challenges of blending families? You’re not alone. With nearly half of marriages in the United States ending in divorce, blended families have become increasingly common. As someone who has experienced this firsthand, I understand the apprehension and conflicts that can arise when families come together. But don’t worry!

In this blog post, I will explore the major issues that arise when families become blended and provide practical strategies to help navigate these challenges successfully. Let’s dive in and discover how to build a strong and harmonious blended family together!

Key Takeaways

  • One major issue when families become blended is the difficulty of adjusting to new relationships and roles.
  • Conflict with stepchildren, disagreements about family rules, and tense relationships among step-siblings are common challenges in blended families.
  • Blended families may also face legal disputes and financial difficulties that can strain relationships and weaken family bonds.

Definition of blended families

blended family forms when two people marry, and at least one of them has a child from a past relationship. Much like how you blend different ingredients to make a smoothie, these families mix parents and kids in new ways.

For some children, it means gaining step-siblings. It signals major changes as everyone must learn to live together under one roof.

Common Problems in Blended Families

Blended families often face issues such as apprehension about remarriage, conflicts with stepchildren, disagreements about new family rules, tense relationships among step-siblings, and neglecting co-parenting responsibilities.

Apprehension about remarriage

Remarriage is a big step. Many feel fear about it. This is normal, especially when kids are part of the picture. There can be worry that the kids will not like their new stepparent or vice versa.

One issue can be loyalty to the first parent. Kids might feel bad for liking their stepparent. They may feel they are being unfaithful to their first parent. It’s hard but important for families to talk through these feelings and fears.

Another problem could be unrealistic hopes for instant love between step-parents and children or an immediate perfect family set-up. These things take time, effort, and patience from all sides.

Conflict with stepchildren

Conflict with stepchildren can be a major issue in blended families. It’s not always easy for children to accept their new stepparent and adjust to the changes in their family dynamic.

This can lead to tension, arguments, and misunderstandings between parents and stepchildren. Sometimes, the conflict arises from loyalty issues or a struggle for attention. Stepparents may also face challenges when it comes to discipline and establishing authority.

Building trust and open communication is important in resolving conflicts and creating a harmonious environment where everyone feels valued and heard.

Disagreements about new family rules

In blended families, disagreements about new family rules can be a major issue. When parents get remarried, they often bring different parenting styles and expectations into the relationship.

This can lead to conflicts between the adults and confusion for the children. For example, one parent may be more strict while the other is more lenient. This can create tension and arguments about discipline, chores, curfews, and other household rules.

Finding a way to compromise and establish consistent rules that everyone agrees on is important for creating harmony in the blended family. Communication and open discussions are key to resolving these disagreements and ensuring that all family members feel heard and respected.

Tense relationships among step-siblings

Blending families can sometimes lead to tense relationships among step-siblings. When parents remarried and brought together their children from previous relationships, it might be difficult for them to get along.

Sibling rivalry is common as they adjust to new family dynamics and learn how to share attention and resources. These tensions can result in arguments, jealousy, and a lack of bonding between step-siblings.

It’s important for parents in blended families to foster open communication, set clear expectations, and provide support for their children as they navigate these challenges. Building trust and understanding between step-siblings takes time but it’s crucial for creating a harmonious family environment.

Neglecting co-parenting responsibilities

In blended families, neglecting co-parenting responsibilities can be a major issue. Co-parenting is when both parents work together to raise their children, even after divorce or remarriage.

It’s important for parents to communicate and make decisions together for the well-being of their children. When co-parenting responsibilities are neglected, it can lead to confusion and conflict among family members.

This can be especially challenging for children who need stability and consistency in their lives. It’s crucial for parents in blended families to prioritize effective communication and cooperation to ensure the best outcomes for their children’s upbringing.

The Impact of Blended Families on Children

Blended families can have a significant impact on children, as they may struggle with sharing attention and parents, experience sibling rivalry, feel confused about their identity, and have mixed feelings about their stepparent.

Difficulty sharing attention and parents

It can be tough for children in blended families to share their parents’ attention. With the addition of new family members, it’s natural for kids to feel a little left out or overlooked at times.

They may worry that they won’t get as much love or support as they did before. This can create challenges and lead to feelings of resentment or jealousy among siblings. It’s important for parents and stepparents to recognize these concerns and make an effort to divide their attention fairly.

Giving each child quality one-on-one time can help them feel valued and loved in the new family dynamic.

Sibling rivalry

Sibling rivalry is a common issue in blended families. When parents remarry, children may struggle to accept their new step-siblings. This can create tension and conflict within the family dynamics.

Blended families often involve multiple children from different marriages, each vying for attention and trying to establish their place in the family. Sibling rivalry can arise as children adjust to new roles and relationships, which can lead to challenges in communication and relationship building among siblings.

It’s important for parents to acknowledge and address these issues, creating an environment of understanding, compassion, and compromise within the blended family.

Identity confusion

Identity confusion is a major issue that children may face when their families become blended. With the introduction of new family members, such as stepparents and step-siblings, children may struggle to figure out where they fit in and who they are within this new dynamic.

They may question their role in the family and feel torn between loyalty to their biological parents and acceptance from their new family members. This can lead to mixed feelings about a stepparent and difficulty understanding their place in the blended family structure.

It is important for parents and caregivers in blended families to be supportive, patient, and open-minded as children navigate through these identity challenges.

Children’s identities can also be impacted by changes in household rules, values, traditions, and expectations that come with blending families together. As they adjust to different parenting styles or conflicting sets of family rules, children may find it confusing to understand which behaviors are considered acceptable or expected of them now.

This uncertainty around identity can contribute to heightened stress levels as children try to adapt themselves accordingly while still maintaining a sense of self.

One approach that can help alleviate identity confusion is providing consistent communication about roles within the blended family unit while recognizing each child’s individuality.

Encouraging open discussions about feelings related to identity issues allows everyone involved – both adults and children – an opportunity for growth through a better understanding of one another.

Additionally, engaging with counseling services tailored toward blended families could provide valuable guidance on navigating through these unique challenges.

Mixed feelings about a stepparent

Having mixed feelings about a stepparent is common in blended families. Children may struggle to accept and adjust to this new parental figure in their lives. They might feel torn between loyalty towards their biological parent and forming a bond with the stepparent.

This can lead to confusion, conflict, and even resentment. Building trust and open communication are essential in addressing these mixed emotions and creating a positive relationship between the child and stepparent.

It takes time for everyone involved to adjust and establish new family dynamics that work for everyone, but with patience, understanding, and support, it is possible to overcome these challenges.

Legal and Financial Issues in Blended Families

Blended families often face legal disputes and financial difficulties, which can lead to territorial infringement and weakened family bonds.

Legal disputes

Legal disputes can be a major issue in blended families. When parents divorce and remarry, there may be disagreements about custody arrangements or visitation rights. Additionally, conflicts could arise regarding child support payments or the division of assets.

These legal battles can create stress and strain within the family, affecting relationships between both parents and children. It’s important for families to prioritize open communication and seek professional help if needed to navigate these legal challenges successfully.

Financial difficulties

Financial difficulties can be a major issue in blended families. When parents come together and form a new family, they often face increased expenses to support their larger household.

This can include additional costs for housing, groceries, school supplies, extracurricular activities, and more. These financial strains can put stress on the family and lead to conflicts about money management and budgeting.

It is important for parents in blended families to have open and honest conversations about finances, set clear expectations regarding financial responsibilities, and work together to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs.

Additionally, it is worth noting that children in blended families may also experience financial challenges. Some children may feel like they are receiving less financial support or resources compared to their biological siblings or previous living situations.

This inequality can lead to feelings of resentment or unfairness among the children involved. Parents should strive to ensure that all children feel equally loved and supported by providing them with fair access to resources and addressing any concerns or grievances they may have.

Territorial Infringement

Territorial infringement is a major issue in blended families. When new family members come together, there can be conflicts over personal space and boundaries. This can happen when step-siblings have to share rooms or when children from previous marriages feel like their belongings are being invaded by the new spouse or step-siblings.

It’s important for parents and stepparents to address these issues and establish clear rules about personal space and respect for each other’s belongings. By acknowledging everyone’s needs and finding compromises, blended families can navigate this challenge and create a harmonious living environment.

Feeble family bonds

In blended families, it is common to have feeble family bonds. This means that the relationships between family members may not be as strong or connected as they would like them to be.

With new partners and step-siblings entering the picture, it can take time for everyone to adjust and form close bonds. This can create challenges in building a sense of unity and trust within the family.

Additionally, children may struggle with loyalty conflicts between their biological parents and stepparents, which further strains family relationships. It’s important for families in this situation to work on open communication, understanding each other’s perspectives, and finding activities or experiences that can help strengthen their bonds over time.

Coping Strategies for Blended Family Issues

Staying compassionate

In blended families, it’s important to stay compassionate towards one another. This means showing kindness and understanding, especially during challenging times. It’s not always easy, but being compassionate can help build stronger relationships within the family.

For example, offering support and empathy when a stepchild is struggling can make them feel valued and accepted. It’s also important to remember that blending families takes time for everyone involved to adjust and form new bonds.

By staying compassionate, we create an environment where trust and love can grow between all family members.

Communication and compromise

In blended families, communication and compromise are vital for resolving conflicts and building strong relationships. Open and honest communication is important so that everyone can express their thoughts, feelings, and concerns.

It’s essential to listen to each other without judgment and try to understand different perspectives. Compromise is also necessary when making decisions about family rules, routines, and traditions.

This involves finding common ground where everyone’s needs are considered. By actively communicating and compromising, blended families can work together to overcome challenges and create a harmonious environment for everyone involved.

Seeking outside support (online counseling)

If you’re part of a blended family and facing challenges, seeking outside support can be helpful. Online counseling is one option to consider. It provides a convenient way to access professional help from the comfort of your own home.

An online counselor can guide you through the unique dynamics of blended families and offer strategies for communication, problem-solving, and building stronger relationships. With their expertise, they can help you navigate the difficulties that arise in co-parenting, step-sibling relationships, discipline issues, and more.

Remember that reaching out for support doesn’t mean there is something wrong with your family; it’s simply a proactive step toward creating a healthier and happier home environment for everyone involved.


1. What is a big problem when families become blended?

One major issue when families become blended could be the lack of family bonds leading to tense relationships among stepsiblings and parenting challenges.

2. Are there legal issues in blended families?

Yes, legal issues such as custody battles can be a major challenge in blended families which may cause problems for parents and kids.

3. Can stepparent discipline lead to problems in blended families?

Yes, it can! Stepparent discipline often becomes an issue due to unrealistic expectations or difficulty with co-parenting, affecting parent-child relationships.

4. Are there money troubles in blended families?

Indeed! Financial challenges are common in these setups too because money matters sometimes create disputes between step-parents.


When families become blended, one major issue is the difficulty in adjusting to new relationships and roles. This can lead to conflicts with stepchildren, disagreements about family rules, and tense relationships among step-siblings.

It’s important for blended families to prioritize communication, compassion, and seeking outside support to navigate these challenges successfully.


I have a Business Studies degree and have specialized in financial accounting. I also have an MBA. Furthermore, I am currently a Ph.D. candidate at Ankara Yildirim Beyazit University in the field of management and organization. I have an interest in management, entrepreneurship, organization, and finance.

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