• what are feelings?
  • it helps to talk
  • it's ok to have feelings
  • got questions?
  • what's on?

step-families or blended families

If your parents have gone through a separation or divorce, they may marry again or live with a new partner. This new partner will be your step-parent.

If your step-parent has children from another marriage, then these children will be your step-brothers and step-sisters.

It takes time getting to know a new family

You might live in a family with a new parent and new brothers and sisters. Your life will have changed, but remember your parents still love you and your new step-parent and step-brothers and sisters want to get to know you.

Becoming part of a new family situation can be difficult. At first, things may seem different or confusing. This is normal and it's important to stay open-minded and give things a chance to improve, and usually they do. Some changes are going to be for the better. You may see a different side to your parents - they may be a lot happier now.

There could be times when you have to do things differently from what you are used to. There may be different rules, routines or expectations. Getting used to new ways of doing things can be stressful and it does take time to adjust.

You may have to move house or school and this can be hard especially if this means losing friends. You might be able to keep in touch by phone, letter or email, also it can be exciting making new friends too!

Step-parents won't replace your parents
At first, you may not get on with your step-sisters or step-brothers, but it's important to understand that they are probably finding it just as difficult as you. It can be a hard time for your parent and step-parent as well and they will need your help to make things work. Remember, step-parents won't replace your parents so don't feel threatened by them or think they are taking over. It's OK to love step-parents too and give them a chance.

Let people know how you're feeling

Sometimes when families join together there is less space and you may have to share a bedroom. It might be difficult to find a quiet space to do your homework or just even to be alone. The people around you may not realise, so let them know how you are feeling.

When big things change, like entering into a new family, you may have to let some old habits go. This can be like grieving a loss, which may involve you feeling sad and angry before you can accept your new situation.

You may be getting used to lots of changes, some may be small while others can be quite big. Although things are different, being part of a step-family can be really neat. It may just take a bit of time to get used to your new situation.

Talk about your feelings

If you are finding things difficult, talk about your problems and feelings with the adults and other step-children. If people know how you are feeling they may be able to do things to make it easier for you.

Also, tell your friends how you are feeling so they can support you.

It might help to talk to a Kidsline Buddy about how you're feeling too!
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