Changing the family structure and dynamics can have a huge impact on children, as they may struggle to adjust to the change, new rules and boundaries, feel a sense of grief due to parental separation, moving bedroom, home or schools, or suffer confusion around their new position in the family and sense of where they belong. Ensuring a smooth transition may be managed through minimising changes, listening to your child’s concerns, and maintaining expectations around being polite and respectful to one another.
The Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia survey (HILDA; 2011) reported relationships with step-parents and adolescents were more problematic than adolescent-parent relationships in blended families. This emphasises the importance to show your child or adolescent you and your partner working as a team by agreeing on rules, boundaries and expectations, and backing one another up. Problem-solving may allow you to manage conflict and work through major disagreements. Alternatively, it may be more beneficial to seek professional help with family or individual therapy to manage family conflict, or help your child process and accept life changes.