Counselling for The Blended Family
Entering into a new marriage isn’t always as easy as one would hope. As parents join their respective children there can be challenges adapting to the new routines and family structure. And with blended families becoming increasingly common, the need for transition counselling is on the rise. If you’re not sure if you need professional support, read further as we identify the common reasons for blended family counselling.
Boundaries for Couples
Stress during blended family transitions is common and even expected. You likely will have a different parenting style than your partner and also different ways to discipline your children. Establishing boundaries and figuring out how you fit in with your partner’s children takes time and work. Counselling can help you both understand each other’s new roles and how you can work together as a team to provide loving parenting to the entire family.
Getting Used to Living as a Group
It may take some time getting used to each other when you begin living with the other family. And not everyone may get along at first, and there may be tension that forms between you and your partner’s children. Finding the right balance may be difficult at first, but your family counsellor can help guide you through some of the more difficult situations.
Helping the Children Adjust
Children easily get stressed when faced with change, especially when the change may affect their daily routines and attention from their parent. The step-parent may also have different expectations for obedience and this may cause frustration and emotional outbursts. And your child may experience feelings of resentment, betrayal, and replacement associated with having a new figure authority. As their parent, you may not understand all their emotions and have difficulty easing your children’s concerns, which can cause further issues. That is where family counselling can help. Counselling sessions can help identify why the children are feeling upset, and can help to normalize the situation for everyone.
Learning to Function as a Team
Family therapy is very effective in helping a blended family work through the issues that are presented to each family member. Group therapy is often recommended where the session allows every member to express their feelings openly. But also, separate sessions may be recommended for the counsellor to really get to the bottom of people’s frustrations. And a counsellor has the expertise and training to help your family structure the roles, boundaries, and respect that may be needed in a blended family.
If you are getting ready to marry or move in with a new partner that has children, consider talking with a counsellor on how you can work before and after the transition period. Counselling can help to create a welcoming and comfortable family unity right from the start.