Help for Blended Families in Raleigh, NC

When Carol and her three daughters moved in with Mike and his three boys, their two families were blending into one. Of course, their family made for great TV too… “they knew that it was much more than a hunch; That this group must somehow form a family. That’s the way we all became the Brady bunch.” The Bradys were America’s first high-profile blended TV family, but they were no means the last. Full House, Sister-Sister, Step by Step, Glee, Modern Family, and more followed in the Bradys’ footsteps. In reality, these TV families were simply following in the footsteps of ordinary families who were learning that family can take any shape or size. These TV families touched on many of the experiences that blended families have, both the challenges and the benefits of bringing two families together. Blended families may double the schools, double the music lessons, double the sports teams, double the chaos, but they also may double the connection, double the love, and double the laughs.

“Live one day at a time (or one moment if you have to).
Blend little by little and celebrate even the smallest breakthrough.”
—Dani Parker-Kimbrough, mom and stepmom

Anything worth achieving takes time and effort, and blended families are no different. It can be a lot of work to bring two families under one roof, but often, that work is worth it. Blended families are often places where adults and children develop a strong sense of who they are, learn resiliency, and accept that life does not always go according to plan. As families establish their new life together, they often work with a counselor. Skilled therapists may understand common pitfalls that can throw a family off course, and when blended families are off track, experienced counselors often know the path back to being one, big, happy family.

Whether your family is just starting on its journey to become one or whether you are further along the path, know that Thriveworks Raleigh offer counseling for blended families. We have helped many families as they establish their unique home.

Bringing Two Families Together

There is no mold or formula for blending a family. That is both a beauty and a challenge. Blended families can take any form, any shape, any size. They can look like…

  • A re-coupled parent whose new partner does not have kids.
  • A remarried widow whose new spouse has children.
  • Divorced parents who have separate homes and separate lives, but they are both actively involved in their children’s lives.
  • Two divorcees who are both bringing children to the new marriage.

Regardless of the type of blended family is formed, most experience some bumps along the way to a unified, happy home. Those challenges look different for the children and the adults.

Challenges for Children
When children face changes in their lives, even positive adjustments, they often feel uneasy and stressed. When they come into a blended family, children face a number of changes. They may have to home homes or rooms within their home. They may have to change schools or neighborhoods. When other children are introduced into their family, kids may struggle to adjust to a new birth order. Often, they have to get used to a new parenting style as well. While all these adjustments are happening, children are also often grieving. They may be grieving their parents’ break-up. They may even be grieving a parent’s death. All of these loses and changes usually mean that children are dealing with big emotions—frustration, anger, confusion, and more.

Challenges for the Couple
The adults in a blended family also face a number of changes. They will be establishing a new partnership or a new marriage, but they also will be leading all the relationships within the family. They must decide and clarify their own roles. Will each take on a parenting role? If not, what role will they carve out for themselves? If so, what skills do they need to build? Have they ever parented before? Couples have to navigate their own relationship, their children’s relationships but also possibly their ex’s.

Tips for Blending a Family

The challenges are many, but so are the benefits. Blending a family is a lot of work, but that work is often rewarded. There is no way to by-pass the challenge, but families can work smarter. Here are two tips for blending a family.

  1. Kick Denial to the Curb: It is ok to acknowledge the challenge. Not everyone is the Brady bunch—even the Brady bunch. If everything is not perfect, that is ok.
  2. Make Space for Empathy: In a blended family, everyone is adjusting. Everyone may be mourning something old. Everyone may be excited about something new. Take time to listen and understand each other.

Scheduling Counseling for Blended Families at Thriveworks Raleigh

If you and your spouse or partner are bringing your families together, consider reaching out for help. There are many resources and support systems available. Thriveworks Raleigh offers counseling, and we have appointments available for blended families. When you contact our office, a scheduling specialist will answer your call and help you schedule an appointment. We do not have a voicemail, but we do have weekend and evening sessions. New clients also may have their first appointment within 24 hours of their first call. We work with a number of insurance companies and accept many different plans. Let’s work together. Call today.

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Thriveworks Counseling

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Thriveworks Counseling Raleigh

Thriveworks Counseling

Meeting with Caitlyn Dowdy has been quite helpful to my understanding of a family member's mental health diagn...Read more

osis. Her ability to clarify behaviors and share her knowledge has been epic, especially related to high-functioning autism, and to proposing different ways that I can work through challenges, all the while ensuring my own self-care.

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Thriveworks Counseling Raleigh

Counselor-Kim Henley

Kim is an amazing counselor. There have only been three persons I trusted with my story. One was a therapist t...Read more

hat seemed more uncomfortable than I was after I shared. The next was an awesome therapist that passed away. Before he died he introduced our group to someone new. We were all very reluctant to have to share with someone new, after taking years to disclose out abuse to anyone. Kim is amazing. She allows us to share when we feel comfortable, and seems to know when to just listen and when a reply is needed. It’s very hard to share, to open up and expose ourselves to anyone. I trust and recommend Kim. When I have a rough day or a bad memory, I don’t have to hold on to it. I take it to my safe place, the room where a victim without a voice transforms into a person that matters. It is a safe place where I don’t have to take the burdens I walk in with back out with me.

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Thriveworks Counseling Raleigh

Kim is the best

I would have never considered going to a support group or receiving counseling because I was raised to think t...Read more

hat you should just get over it, or if you talk to a counselor you are “crazy.” I have to say that I was definitely taught wrong. I have went through so much, from being in an extremely violent and controlling relationship, as well as other trauma& I am so glad I connected with Kim, and am finally able to heal. Kim is very supportive and nonjudgemental& I highly recommend her!!

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Thriveworks Counseling

Schedule your first appointment with a Thriveworks Counselor or Life Coach!

  • 8406 Six Forks Road Suite 104
    Raleigh , NC 27615

  • Mon-Fri:7:30AM-9PM