top of page

Step, Blended, Blending Families

First and second marriages are like apples & oranges. Nothing alike...


It's not a Family Tree anymore, It's a Family Forest...

Parents used to have lots of Children - Now Children have lots of Parents...

To give yourself the best chance of success...


It’s important to start planning how a blended family will function before the marriage even takes place


Datingness is not the same as familyness.

                                                                                           Ron Deal

You and Your Partner

You and your partner have decided to make a life together and form a new, blended family that includes children from one or both of your previous relationships. Congratulations.


What lies ahead can be both a rewarding and a challenging experience. It can take a long time for a blended family to begin to feel comfortable and function well together.


While you as parents are likely to approach remarriage and a new blended family with great joy and expectation, your kids or your new spouse’s kids may not be nearly as excited. They’ll likely feel uncertain about the upcoming changes and how they will affect relationships with their natural parents. They’ll also be worried about living with new stepsiblings, whom they may not know well, or worse, ones they may not even like.


Step Family Quick Facts: 30-60-80
  • 30% of two adult homes are step families

  • 60% will divorce

  • 80% can do well with support

Step Family Facts
  • 1300 new stepfamilies are forming every day.

  • 40% of couples with children are step-couples  

  • 75% of those divorced remarry

  • 100 million people in the US have a step-relationship of some kind.

  • The average marriage in America lasts only seven years.

  • One out of two marriages ends in divorce.

  • 75% of those divorced remarry

  • Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.

  • 66% of those living together or remarried break up, when children are involved.

  • 60% of second marriages end in divorce

  • 70% of third marriages end in divorce

  • 80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers.

  • The average time between first divorce & remarriage is about 3.5 years

  • 54% of women will remarry within 5 years of first divorce and 75% within 10 years

  • 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent's current partner.


75% complain of "not having access to resources as a stepfamily"



Guidelines for Stepfamilies
  • Not a biological family

  • Need to define rules & expectations

  • Need to build couple strength

  • Prepare for unexpected feelings

Laying the foundations for a successful Blended family...


Having survived a painful divorce or separation and then managed to find a new loving relationship, the temptation can often be to rush into remarriage and a blended family

without first laying solid foundations. By taking your time, you give everyone a chance

to get used to each other, and used to the idea of marriage.


  • Too many changes at once can unsettle children. Blended families have the highest success rate if the couple waits two years or more after a divorce to remarry, instead of piling one drastic family change onto another.

  • Don't expect to fall in love with your partner’s children overnight. Get to know them. Love and affection take time to develop.

  • Find ways to experience “real life” together. Taking both sets of kids to a theme park every time you get together is a lot of fun, but it isn’t reflective of everyday life. Try to get the kids used to your partner and his or her children in daily life situations.

  • Make parenting changes before you marry. Agree with your new partner how you intend to parent together, and then make any necessary adjustments to your parenting styles before you remarry. It’ll make for a smoother transition and your kids won’t become angry at your new spouse for initiating changes.

  • Don’t allow ultimatums. Your kids or new partner may put you in a situation where you feel you have to choose between them. Remind them that you want both sets of people in your life.

  • Insist on respect. You can’t insist people like each other but you can insist that they treat one another with respect.

  • Limit your expectations. You may give a lot of time, energy, love, and affection to your new partner’s kids that will not be returned immediately. Think of it as making small investments that may one day yield a lot of interest

The Blended Family
Help & Hope Video

The Blended Family
Help & Hope Video

The Blended Family
Help & Hope Video

 Sand Ceremony
Parenting in Complex FAMILIES Conference
Learn More...
Blended and Blessed logo.png
Blended & Blessed Conference
Learn More...
Invite James

Invite James to Speak at your Event or Lead in Training

CLICK to invite James

Upcoming Events

Find out about Coming Events


Family Types Today


Biblical - God's Plan




Single Parents

Unwed Mothers

Single Fathers

Single Mothers



Never Married

Step / Blended / Blending


Foster Care

Same Sex


Grandparent Led

Single within Marriage



2010 - present

2010 - present

CLICK on PDF icons above to view, copy or print

Resources for Step Families
Resources will save your stepfamily...


In Their Shoes.jpg

Resources for Step, Blended and Blending Families

CLICK on picture to Enlarge


 Given the right support, kids should gradually adjust to the prospect of marriage and being part of a new family. It is your job to communicate openly, meet their needs for security, and give them plenty of time to make a successful transition.



bottom of page