Blended families or stepfamilies with children from previous relationships are becoming more commonplace each day. Unfortunately, families don't always blend smoothly, acclimating to new family dynamics can be difficult, and problems can come up. Sometimes children resist changes or parents become frustrated with the at times challenging dynamics of adjusting to a blended family.
Here are some quotes that you can enjoy that may offer encouragement, as well as some resources for blended families.
What Is A Blended Family?
A blended family is a family that includes children from a partner's past relationship. One or both parents may become a stepparent.
Blending families requires adjustments for everyone involved, parents and children alike. The whole family may have to relearn how to interact and socialize while discovering where they fit in the new family dynamic. Families have growing pains, and though the trip to becoming a healthily balanced blended family can be rough, the bonds that are often created afterward can be invaluable.
With that in mind, we have compiled a list of quotes that a blended or currently "blending" family may relate to:
Quotes For Step-Mom
It is not always comfortable stepping up and becoming a stepmom. Sometimes it seems nearly impossible to bond and to adjust to the new arrangement, to become a new mom to children who are not legally yours. Having to manage the parenting preferences of the children’s biological mother or working with children who may not initially accept you can be taxing at times. Every now and again, a reminder is needed that you're doing the best you can and that you are not the first, or only, stepmom to struggle. Here are five quotes for new stepmoms:
- "Family isn’t something that’s supposed to be static or set. People marry in and divorce out... It’s always evolving, turning into something else.” –Sarah Dessen
- "Nothing in the world feels more personal than rejection from a child upon who you have showered love and emotional energy. But it's not about you. Really. Moms can brush off the rejection because they know that their children will be back on track the moment a new emotional or physical need arises. A stepmom's first instinct is to blame herself and consider what it is she may have done to earn the treatment she received." -- Brenda Snyder, LCSW
- "What I'm doing isn't about me, it's about the two little kids that my husband brought into my life. It is about them and making sure that they feel safe, happy, and supported." --Rose Quinn
- "The truth is that the way our ex's, our partner's ex's or even our step-kids see us isn't always about us - it's about them and their struggles, insecurities, fears or limitations. You don't have to allow their judgment to become your truth." -- Daniell Koepke (Adapted)
Quotes For Stepdad
Being a stepdad can be difficult as well, and their family role is often overlooked. They may face difficulties trying to gain the respect of the children or may encounter problems with their biological father. Stepdads may have to try just as hard as stepmoms to bond with the children and be there for them without caving into the pressures surrounding them. The quotes below show what it can be like to be a stepdad:
- "A Stepdad doesn't just marry his wife: He marries her entire situation… He has to find a balance between supporting her and defending her - without overstepping invisible boundaries that may exist." -- Unknown
- “No man stands taller than when he stoops to help a child.” –Abraham Lincoln
- “Visualize how you would want to relate to your stepchildren and how you see yourself forming a new blended family. Too often, stepparents are so wrapped up in the new relationship with their partner that it’s only later, as they come to feel like they’re thrust into a situation that involves children, that they realize they haven’t talked about how they’re going to come together as a family and how the role of stepdad will work.” –Rachel Andrew, Ph.D.
- "A dad isn't defined as the man who makes the child, but rather the man who raises and loves the child with all his heart through anything. BLOOD doesn't always make a man a dad; being a DAD comes from the heart." -Unknown
- “Stepparents are not around to replace a biological parent, rather to augment a child’s experience.” –Azriel Johnson
Quotes For Step-Kids
As a stepchild, you may at times feel trapped or compelled to choose a side based on which parent you want to support. It can be difficult to feel as though you have two families, or to feel as if someone has stepped in to take the place of one of your parents.
Here are five quotes that step kids may relate to:
- “Children see magic because they look for it.” –Christopher Moore
- "You were made with love; you are destined for greatness. This big old world can be a scary place; I hope you know that with your kind heart and fierce mind and brave spirit you can do anything. Be bold, be crazy, be loud, be everything that you want to be, but always remember to be yourself." -- Unknown
- "You can rise from anything. You can completely recreate yourself. Nothing is permanent. You're not stuck. You have choices. You can think of new thoughts. You can learn something new. You can create new habits. All that matters is that you decide today and never look back." -- Unknown
- "A child cannot have too many people who love them and want to help them succeed." -- Unknown
- “Children begin by loving their parents; as they grow older, they judge them; sometimes, they forgive them.” –Oscar Wilde
Quotes For Blended Families
The goal is to push through those tough moments and remember why you're working towards peace and understanding to begin with. Here are seven quotes that help explain what it's like to be a part of a blended family:
- "Don't worry if you're not an instant, happily-ever-after blended family. Expect to endure "I give up" days and rejoice in the "I can do this" days. It will take work, dedication, an excellent sense of humor, and a strong resolve. But hey, since when has any family taken the easy route? We don't do ‘easy’ - we do ‘worth it!’” -- Jessica James (Adapted)
- "Blended Families: Woven together by choice, strengthened together by love tested by everything and each uniquely ours." -- Unknown
- "Family isn't defined only by last names or by blood; it's defined by commitment and by love. It means showing up when they need it most. It means having each other's backs. It means choosing to love each other even on those days when you struggle to like each other. It means never giving up on each other!" -- Dave Willis
- "Co-parenting is not a competition. It's a collaboration of two homes working together with the best interest of the child at heart. Work for your kids, not against them." -- Unknown
- "The secret to blending families is…There is no secret. It's scary and awesome and ragged and perfect and always changing. Love and laugh hard, try again tomorrow, but that's life advice, right?" -- Mir Kamin
- "There is no such thing as a broken family. Family is family and is not determined by marriage certificates, divorce papers, and adoption documents. Families are made in the heart." -- Joybell
- "For those of you that say ‘this is not what I signed up for’ remember that life is not built for your comfort. Life is built by lessons that test you, and push you with every possibility of either demolishing your foundation or reinforcing it!" -- Jessica James
Living In A Blended Family
Merging, as a blended family, can be one of the most challenging tasks a family may ever go through. Different opinions may be competing, and you may be trying to determine where you fit in amongst your new family; figuring out where the boundaries lie and how to not cross them. Some families are not able to complete the transition without going through therapy or online therapy. There is no shame in needing help to make sure your family is working as one unit and not always fighting against each other. If you need help, consider reaching out to a licensed professional in your area today.
Therapy For Blended Families
With BetterHelp, you can receive individual and couple’s counseling from the comfort of your own home or wherever you have a reliable internet connection. As a blended family, you likely have a busy schedule; online therapy is a convenient option, as there is no need to travel to an office and sessions can often be held outside of standard business hours.
Online therapy has been found to be overall just as effective as in-person therapy for a variety of issues and concerns, including depression, anxiety, stress, family troubles, and more. Through a thorough analysis of dozens of studies on online therapy, the National Center for Health Research found online therapy to be equally effective as traditional therapy for depression, anxiety, PTSD, and trauma.
All families must deal with their own unique challenges, and blended families are no exception. Learning to adjust to a new-to-you family, whether you are a stepparent, stepchild, or biological parent, takes time, patience, and work. It can be helpful to remember that struggles are normal and that you are not alone. Additionally, online therapy can help you adjust to and cope with the new family dynamics.
Which best describes a blended family?
According to the American Psychological Association (APA), a blended family is any family unit including children from previous unions. It may also be called a stepfamily or a reconstituted family.
Blended families can take many forms. The simplest might be a family unit consisting of a parent, their child from a prior relationship, and that child’s step-parent. More complex blended families can incorporate multiple siblings from prior relationships on the part of both parents, along with children resulting from the current parental union.
What brings a family together quotes?
Many thinkers, speakers, and authors have offered powerful observations about how families can come together. Here are a few of these inspirational sayings:
- “In family relationships, ‘love’ is really spelled ‘t-i-m-e,’ time. Taking time for each other is the key for harmony at home.” — Dieter Uchtdorf, former president of the Church of Latter-Day Saints
- “When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching — they are your family.” — Jim Butcher, author
- “All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” — Helen Keller, author and activist
- “One of the most powerful things you can do to make your blended family victorious is to learn how to release unrealistic expectations”. — Kellye Laughery, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
- “The bond that links your true family is not one of blood, but of respect and joy in each other's life.” — Richard Bach, author
- “When someone takes you on as their own when you're not biologically their own, I think it’s really special ... Steve didn't have to raise me. He wanted to.” — Jonathan Van Ness, hairstylist, podcaster, and TV personality
- “To us, family means putting your arms around each other and being there.” — Barbara Bush, former U.S. first lady
What is a beautiful quote about family?
Many people feel that the most essential ingredient in any family is the expression of love through actions, words, and time. This quote from famed philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche expresses this idea poetically:
“In family life, love is the oil that eases friction, the cement that binds closer together, and the music that brings harmony.”
What is an example sentence for a blended family?
“Becoming a blended family means mixing, mingling, scrambling, and sometimes muddling our way through delicate family issues, complicated relationships, and individual differences, hurts, and fears. But through it all, we are learning to love like a family.”
This quote from counselor and author Tom Frydenger may be a helpful way to express both the distinctive challenges and the rewards of coming together as a blended family. Building a cohesive, loving family that includes children from different families of origin can involve unique hurdles, such as:
- Concern from children about new demands on their parent’s love and attention
- Worries about perceived disloyalty to biological parents
- Questions about disciplinary authority between step-parents and stepchildren
- Navigating unfamiliar living habits and relationship styles
- Lingering feelings of anxiety, resentment, or distrust after a divorce
However, families that can handle these difficulties in a compassionate, respectful way may find unexpected benefits and joy from the expansion of their relationships.
What is the best caption for the family?
Though its originator is unknown, the following quote has proved meaningful for many people who’ve experienced living in blended families:
“Bright families are just like bright colors: When you blend two, you get something beautiful.”
This saying can provide a reminder that a loving human relationship can be more than the sum of its parts. When two existing families combine, they may have an opportunity to create something entirely new, rather than simply coexisting in a space.
This may require addressing sensitive topics, difficult emotions, and uncomfortable questions head-on in a meaningful and collaborative way. For many people, though, the rewards may greatly outweigh the effort.
How can I describe my family?
Trying to explain the dynamics and history of a blended family to someone new may feel difficult or awkward. Family members may also feel different levels of comfort with specific relationship terms.
If you’re a parent or step-parent in a newly blended family, it may be important not to rush things. Pressuring children to use words like “dad” or “mother” about someone who’s not their biological parent may cause resentment and distrust. It might be helpful to have an open conversation with them about what terms they’re okay with.
Once they express their wishes, you can often build trust by honoring them. When describing your family to others, it may be best to stick with terms like “stepdaughter” or “my wife’s son” until the child in question says they’re comfortable being called your “daughter” or “son”. Your new family members are likely paying close attention when they hear you discussing them. Respecting their comfort and their bonds with prior parents can help reassure them that you take their feelings seriously.
It might also be helpful to emphasize that you are happy to have them in your lives. The effects may not be immediate. But if they repeatedly hear you express that you feel incredibly lucky to get to know your partner’s children, it may help overcome initial feelings of distrust or coldness.
How do you keep peace in a blended family?
Researchers and family counselors have identified many strategies for helping families work through the challenges that can arise within blended families. The following approaches may be helpful for parents preparing to navigate this challenge:
- Plan ahead. Before moving in with your future spouse or life partner, you may want to acknowledge the potential stumbling blocks you’re facing and discuss how you’ll handle them.
- Maintain communication with your partner. The conversation described above may need to be ongoing. Research suggests that strong communication between partners can be an important part of creating healthy dynamics within blended families.
- Try to empathize with your children. Young people may be more strongly affected by disruptions of divorce, remarriage, and cohabitation with new people than adults. Their emotion regulation abilities are likely not fully developed, and they generally have much less control over the process. Making an effort to see things from their perspective may help you avoid miscommunications and hurt feelings.
- Prioritize your partnership. Many parents feel they should always put their children’s needs first, but this attitude can lead to neglect of your spouse or life partner. A failure to put real effort into strengthening that relationship may lead to further instability within the home. It could also limit your children’s ability to regard your partner as a full member of the family.
- Provide continuity. Maintaining cherished family traditions (as much as possible) can help reduce the sense of upheaval that the children may feel.
- Limit discipline from step-parents at first. It may take time before children in a blended family can see their parent’s new partner as a legitimate authority figure in their lives. Avoiding heavy-handed discipline during the early stages of the transition may help.
- Affirm your family connection. While you may not want to force a sense of intimacy too early, it can help to make it clear to your partner’s children that you see them as full members of your family. It may feel hard at first to find just the right mix of closeness and independence, but making the effort will often help in the long run.
How long do blended families last?
It can be hard to predict whether any given blended family will stick together for the long run, or how long it will last if the parents end up divorcing. Statistics suggest that standing the test of time may be difficult. Forbes reports that as many as 74% of second marriages may end in divorce, while it may take 2-5 years for a blended family to start functioning as a cohesive unit.
That said, statistics can’t tell you how well any particular family will be able to come together and work through the obstacles described above. Many blended families remain close, loving, and deeply connected throughout their lives.
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