Blended Families: How to Achieve Harmony?

It's undeniable that blended families are becoming more and more frequent in today's society. But how can you achieve harmony? Keep reading!
Blended Families: How to Achieve Harmony?
Sharon Capeluto

Written and verified by the psychologist Sharon Capeluto.

Last update: 14 February, 2023

Blended families are one of the many forms that can be adopted in today’s culture. Fortunately, the conception of family no longer represents a global and crystallized image. On the contrary, a large part of society accepts and celebrates diversification in this interpersonal circle. In this article, we’ll tell you what to do to achieve harmony.

The range of possibilities is extensive: Birth families, adoptive families, extended families, nuclear families, single-parent families, families with parents of the same sex, families with children or without children, among others. Therefore, the fact that living together is an enormous challenge is no surprise. The truth is that, regardless of the type of relationship, sharing a home with other people has always been particularly complex. However, blended families present an extra challenge.

What are blended families like?

Gradually but steadily, the notion of family is no longer limited to standard, unified terms. This happens because social ideas change as reality transforms. Undoubtedly, the way of bonding with others, the norms, the expectations in relationships, and the models of primary circles aren’t consistent with those of a few decades ago.

Among the new conceptions, we find blended families. These may be divorced, widowed, or single parents. At the same time, there may be children from this new union.

A blended family with 2 children.
Blended families are made up of a couple in which one or both members have one or more children from a previous relationship. In addition, they may also have children in common.

Recommendations for harmonious cohabitation

Often, blended families must share a home where new routines, customs, norms, and dynamics are established, which can produce confrontations. Therefore, to ensure a good coexistence, it is important to follow the recommendations below.

1. Establish clear agreements

As happens in any home, blended families also need to build agreements and rules so that coexistence doesn’t turn into a real battlefield. Fluid communication, as well as clarity regarding rules, facilitate integral well-being when it comes to several people living under the same roof.

In addition, if your children and those of your partner don’t get along well, you’ll need to pay special attention to the bond between them. It’s common for certain conflicts to appear, triggered by jealousy, insecurities, incompatibility of personalities, or frustration. It’s then when limits should be established and basic rules of coexistence should be agreed upon, in addition to helping them to improve their relationship.

2. Respect each bond

Another fundamental point is the respect for the privacy of each relationship within the family. It’s essential that children don’t feel that their relationship with their parents has lost intimacy.

A mother holding her daughter's hands while sitting on the couch.
Children need to have moments with their parents without the involvement of a third party. In this way, there will be shared and personal spaces.

3. Avoid comparisons

One of the biggest mistakes in new emotional ties is to make comparisons with previous partners. Possibly, your partner’s child will grow up in the context of shared parenting, which implies the intervention of another adult. Most commonly, this would be your current partner’s ex-partner. In this case, it’s important that you don’t try to take their place unless there’s been a mutual or even legal agreement.

While it’s understandable that by living with your partner’s child, you begin to take an active role in parenting, this doesn’t mean that you must replace the biological mother or father. Everyone has a different role and that’s fine. However, of course, the sense of belonging can be just as strong whether or not you’re related by blood.

4. Promote integration, but not by force

When a person with children builds a new relationship, the desire for their current partner to establish a nice bond with their children is often very present. The same is true the other way around. So, with the impulse of such motivation, they try to promote their integration through dialogue, shared activities, or, in the worst of cases, by imposition.

It’s not a good idea to force children to be close to your current partner and their children just because. “they’re now your new family” . On the contrary, respecting their own time and feelings will have better results in the long run. Keep in mind that genuine bonds are built through trust and sincere affection.

Blended families are increasingly common

Blended families are increasingly common in today’s societies. Sometimes, young children perceive the new format quite naturally and even build strong bonds with their parent’s new partner and even that person’s children. However, in other cases, the consummation of the new relationships becomes rather conflictive or tense.

Although each home is a world of its own and each case is particular, the recommendations we’ve given you will surely help to improve the coexistence and well-being of all the members of the family.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Dayamis Ramírez, T., & Gretcher Lamas, B. (2018). La familia ensamblada: una nueva concepción familiar. Anales De La Facultad De Ciencias Juridicas Y Sociales De La Universidad Nacional De La Plata, (48). Recuperado a partir de
  • Gaitán, J. (2012). Familias ensambladas. Trabajo Final de Graduación. Abogacía. Universidad Empresarial Siglo 21.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.