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Are stepfamilies the new norm? (PART 1)

The process of divorce ends with one distinct result: two single adults. For many of these adults, the continued hope is that they will someday remarry or at least find love again. If those adults have children, their new spouses will become stepparents, which can be a very challenging role to take on.

Although in 1960 only 13 percent of families were considered “stepfamilies,” in 2014 they made up 40 percent of married couples who had children. That translates to two out of three individuals having a step-relative in this country. This number may be surprising to some, but considering the divorce rate in our country, it makes sense. Not to mention that remarriages involving children have a divorce rate of 62 percent to 74 percent.

All of this shifting of family dynamics has actually pushed the typical “mom and dad” scenario out of the majority. As of 2014, the majority of families in the United States are actually made up of singles, families that live together but are not married, and stepfamilies.

Of course, not every stepfamily turns out like The Brady Bunch. It often takes years for children and new step-relatives to adjust to each other, and it’s not always a pretty picture. It’s more so a work in process than it is an “instant family.” Oftentimes there can be complications when it comes to disciplining, interaction with exes, and coordinating schedules. In our next post we will talk more about some tips that can help a stepfamily work toward being in a happy and healthy union.

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