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When families introduce new partners and children into a young person’s life, it can be an unsettling time for everyone. Figuring out where everyone fits and how to get along can be a challenge.
Becoming part of a new family is a big change in a young person’s life. Whether their parents have remarried, or found a new partner with kids of their own, getting used to living with different people can be difficult.
Young people in blended families will need to adjust to having new family members, new house rules, different routines or jobs to do, and they'll need to figure out what their role in the family is. Living with a new family will be quite different to what they are used to, and the change can be stressful.
Sometimes, young people faced with having to live in a blended family situation don’t feel like they get much say in what happens. This can leave them feeling confused - especially if they haven’t been told what’s happening. They might feel angry their family isn’t what they expected it to be, or sad things aren't the way they used to be.
These thoughts and feelings might not get expressed in words. If someone is having trouble adjusting, you might notice that they:
Encouraging young people to talk about how they’re doing can help them identify problems and start to find solutions:
Getting used to living with a new family will take time. Here are some things you could try to make the process easier:
Confidential Helpline: 0800 376 633
Youthline provides free phone, text, and email counselling support. Its website has great information for youth dealing with challenging situations, including a section on family relationships.