Differences Between Step-Families And First-Time Families

While every family has its own unique set of circumstances, step-families have additional complications that first-time families do not. Step-families are families where one or both members of the adult couple already have children, usually from a previous relationship. First-time families are typically ones in which the adult couple has the experience of becoming parents and establishing a family for the first time.

Some step-families form and function as a unit quickly and smoothly. Other step-families are dealing with complex situations and have more challenges to traverse. While being mindful that there are numerous variations of a “step-family,” there are some common key differences between step-families and first-time families. These different dynamics can place additional stress on the members of the step-family as well as the family as a whole.

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Myths & Realities about Step-Families

It is said that currently, approximately 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. It is likely then, that a great portion of the population will find themselves in a step-family or blended family situation. Many adults will find themselves in a step-couple relationship, where they are with a partner who already has children from previous relationships. And many adults will find themselves in the role of being a stepparent caring for step-children. Despite the prevalence of step-families, there are still some strong misconceptions about blended families, step-parents, and step-children.

The Healthy Marriage Handbook touches on some of these beliefs with their Myths and Realities Quiz below.

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