National Stepfamily day is September 16th which honors more than 50 million Americans who are part of a stepfamily.
For those who are lucky enough to be a part of a stepfamily, it’s a time to celebrate!
Even though there can be challenges, being part of a stepfamily is an amazing experience.
For many children, being adopted by a stepparent is a happy and enriching experience.
Stepparents often bring new perspectives and life experiences to the family dynamic, and can provide much needed stability and support during times of transition.
But it isn’t always easy.
When you become part of a stepfamily, children will quickly realize that they can probably do whatever they want in the beginning.
They might get along at first with their newfound relatives but then as things settle down the tables seem to turn.
Eventually, almost every stepparent hears these infamous words: “You can’t tell me what I should or shouldn’t be doing; You’re not my mom/dad!”
The challenges of blended families can be quite stressful for all parties involved.
Because many stepparents come into the relationship with expectations of what should happen-which can ultimately lead them down different paths than anticipated.
Creating more tension and even hostility between child and stepparent. It can be hard for parents to understand that their child’s stepfather or mother will have different priorities than them.
Why Is There Hostility Among Children In Stepfamilies?
It’s not unusual for children in stepfamilies to act out in hostile ways.
There are a number of reasons why this may be the case.
- They may feel insecure about their place in the family. With a new stepparent and often new stepsiblings.
- They may worry that they will be left out or rejected.
- They may also be grieving the loss of their biological parent, even if that parent was abusive or absent.
- They may be resentful of the attention and financial resources that are being redirected to their new family members.
- They may feel like they have to compete for love and attention.
- They may simply be acting out in response to the stress and upheaval that comes with having a new family member.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to remember that children in stepfamilies are going through a lot of changes and need patience, understanding, and support.
One important thing to keep in mind is that it takes time for everyone to adjust to the new family dynamic.
Each person has their own unique history, set of experiences, and way of dealing with change.
It’s important to be patient with each other as you’re all learning how to navigate this new territory.
Secondly, try to focus on the positive aspects of the situation. Yes, there may be some bumps along the way, but ultimately you’re creating a family that is full of love and compassion.
By reinforcing these two values, you can create a strong foundation for your blended family.
On this national day of celebration, let’s remember the children who have been welcomed into step families, and the parents who have opened their hearts and homes to them!