Taking care of a family takes time and hard work. Every family faces difficulties. From money problems to stress from school or work, all families must work together in hopes of a stable home life. Caring and raising a stepfamily can prove to be doubly difficult. Stepfamilies are constantly working on custody and living arrangements or difficulties with ex-spouses. Building relationships with stepparents and stepchildren is especially difficult.

All stepfamilies take up unique challenges that differ from others. If you are looking to combine families with a new spouse or are a member of a stepfamily and are hesitant of these difficulties, you are not alone. In the 1960s, there were roughly about 13 percent of stepfamilies in the country. In 2019, that number increased to 40 percent. Statistically, a very large number of families across the country are facing the same trials. The following are tips to help make your stepfamily stable and as successful as possible.

Adolescent Stepchildren

Over the years, statistics have shown that second marriages have a 67 percent chance of failing. Experts found that the first 24 months of forming a stepfamily are the most important. If you are a parent, whether the new stepparent or one of the biological parents, take notice of the children in the household, particularly adolescent children From ages 10 to 14, younger adolescents need the most time to adjust, mostly because they are in an important developmental stage in their lives. They begin to take on new emotions and are highly influential at this age.

Studies have also shown that talking and listening to stepchildren are seen to be more comforting than hugging and kissing. Communication is key; children will grow more comfortable in situations if you explain to them what is happening.

Team Parenting

It is also helpful to parent as a team, including the biological parent who has moved out. Experts also agree that if the ex-spouse maintains contact and a healthy relationship with their children, those children will hopefully feel less abandoned, which would help the growth of the stepfamily. Parents should also be more supportive of children, and not discipline as harshly or quickly as they normally might have.

It takes about two to four years for a stepfamily to begin to function normally. Although the children need the time to adjust to their new surroundings and relationships, the parents should not forsake their own relationship. The parents’ adjustment to this new life can also be very stressful as well.  After forming a stepfamily, take the necessary time and care to make sure everyone feels comfortable with their new environment.

South Jersey Divorce Lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC Help Stepfamilies Adjust to Their New Lives

Remarrying after a divorce can be just as stressful as it is exciting. If you have plans to remarry or plan to combine your families with your new spouse, then contact the South Jersey divorce lawyers at the Burnham Law Group, LLC right away. Our experienced and knowledgeable lawyers can help guide you through the strenuous process and assist you with legal issues you may face. Call us today at 856-751-5505 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Marlton and Somers Point, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden County, Burlington County, and Atlantic County.