Life in a Blended or Step Family: Case Study
When we think about step families, many of us may have a vision of The Brady Bunch-the cheesy American TV series from the seventies that featured a Mum and Dad and their children-from different parents.
Blended FamiliesBlended families are now very common and in any class in any school in the UK today you will find children who live with step brothers and sisters and step parents. Blended families happen for a variety of reasons, and in many cases parents can date for a considerable time before they actually decide to move in together and become step parents to each other’s children.
The Brady Bunch?So what is life really like in a blended family today? Does it resemble the sickly sweet and near perfect image that we remember from The Brady Bunch, or is the reality a little different? Amy is now 17, and has lived with her brother and step brother and sister for the last five years since they all moved into a new house together.
Big ChangesAmy said: “Everyone is affected by the blending of two families. If you are all moving into a brand new house together then the change will be huge because you may well be moving to a new area and changing schools, colleges and jobs at the same time. Although change is a positive thing, children can find it hard to leave friends and places behind and start again, and they will need lots of support and reassurance that things will be OK.“Me and my brother found it really hard to start with, although we were excited too! Mum left us when we were quite little and it had just been me and James and Dad for as long as we could remember. We really liked Dad’s girlfriend and her kids too but moving in was a big step.”Fresh start
“Moving into a completely new house is a fresh start for everyone and it means that everyone starts from the same point. So although everything is new and different and possibly a bit scary and unsettling-it’s comforting to know that everyone is in the same situation and can support each other. We all felt a bit strange to begin with, but luckily our new house was big and we all had a bedroom to ourselves so we had space to do our own thing and escape from each other!”