The increasing numbers of step families has produced pressures which no doubt have increased the number of second divorces.
One of the main concerns when mixing 2 families together is to ensure that everyone has a space of their own. This can be difficult and problematic. There is an interesting article in The New York Times which outlines the need for everyone to feel a part of the new environment, no place for me means no place in the family, type issue. Space does not have to be a bedroom of one’s own, but efforts to make everyone feel that it is their home too are essential.
An overemphasis on the practicalities is no substitute for good parenting. It is important to remember that the children have been forced into a situation they do not want and having all the latest gadgets and a beautiful room is not going to make them feel blessed. I remember putting my stepson to bed when he was 5 and he seemed sad so I commented how lucky he was to have a lovely room at his mum’s house and his dad’s house. He replied “I do not see how that is a good thing”.
Space of their own will help children feel welcome but the challenge is to help them recover from their loss…