parenting counselling

How to Navigate Different Parenting Styles in Blended Families

Being a parent in a blended family can be difficult and complex – many issues and challenges can appear when two separate families come together. Both parents and kids may experience stress and anxiety as a result of these difficulties in the household. However, parenting counselling may provide you with support and direction if you’re finding it difficult to deal with the difficulties of parenting in a mixed family.

Hence, the team at Capital Choice Counselling would like you to know how to navigate different parenting styles in blended families.


Common Issues in Blended Families

parenting counselling issues

In a blended family, also called a stepfamily, at least one parent has children from a prior relationship who are not the other parent’s biological children. When these two people start a new family, they take on the role of step-parent to the other’s children. The children in a mixed family may reside with just one biological parent or with both biological parents and their respective stepparents. There are many methods to create blended families, including marriage, cohabitation, or adoption.

The mixing of two different family units can result in a variety of difficulties and problems for blended families. Here are some typical problems that blended families may experience:


Contemplating New Family Dynamics

People who may not have previously lived together or had close relationships find themselves in blended families. The transition to their new responsibilities can be difficult, whether it’s a stepparent getting used to being a parent or a youngster getting used to new siblings.


Loyalty and Resentment Conflicts

In addition to dealing with loyalty issues between their biological parent and stepparent, children may feel resentment towards their stepparents for attempting to take the position of their biological parent. They could feel conflicted about wanting to uphold their bond with their biological parent and wanting to win the approval of their stepparent.


Differing Parenting Styles

There may be friction and disagreement since stepparents may have different parenting philosophies and standards than biological parents. The children’s biological parents can feel that their authority is being challenged or that they are receiving unfair treatment.



Favouritism may be a major source of tension and conflict in mixed families and is a problem that can arise frequently. Resentment, jealousy, and wrath can result when one parent favours their biological children over their stepchildren or the other way around.


Financial Pressure

Blended families could be subject to extra financial responsibilities like child support, alimony, or other costs associated with running several residences. As a result, the family’s finances may be strained, and any disagreements between parents about how money should be spent may arise.


Managing Loss

Blended families are frequently created as a result of the dissolution of a previous family structure, which can be upsetting for both parents and kids. They could find it difficult to fit in with their new family and yearn for their old family dynamic.


Discipline and Limits

It can be difficult to establish clear limits and consistent discipline for all children in a blended family, especially when stepparents are involved. While biological parents could feel as though their partner is criticizing or judging them, stepparents might feel as though they lack the authority to discipline their stepchildren.


Tips for Managing Parental Challenges in Blended Families

parenting counselling tips

Parenting difficulties in blended families can be challenging to manage, but there are techniques and advice that can be useful. Here are a few ideas:


Communicate Openly

Every family needs to communicate, but blended families need it even more. Parents should be honest and upfront with one another and their kids about their hopes, feelings, and worries. 


Build Relationships Gradually

Everyone in the blended family may need some time to get used to their new responsibilities and connections. However, they should also respect their children’s boundaries and give them space if they require it. Parents should encourage their kids to spend time together and form good relationships.


Be Consistent

When it comes to parenting in mixed families, consistency is crucial. Regardless of whether their children are biological or stepchildren, parents should make an effort to be consistent with their rules, expectations, and discipline. This may contribute to a feeling of justice and equality within the family.


Show Love and Affection

Particularly in mixed homes where children could feel uneasy or unsure of their place in the family, it is crucial for parents to show their children love and affection. Parents should try to be kind, encouraging, and aware of their children’s successes.


Respect Each Other’s Parenting Styles

It’s crucial to appreciate one other’s parenting styles and approaches even when parents in blended families may have different parenting philosophies. To build a strong family unit, parents should make an effort to have open lines of communication, find methods to compromise and collaborate.


Seek Outside Assistance

Families that have been blended can gain from outside assistance, such as family therapy or counselling from organizations like Capital Choice Counselling. These tools can assist parents in overcoming obstacles and fostering stronger, healthier bonds with their kids and spouses.


Focus On The Positive

Blended families provide many difficulties, but it’s vital to remember that there are also many advantages. As a family, parents should celebrate their accomplishments and successes, and they should work to construct fond memories.

Meet Our Blended Families Counsellors

Capital Choice Counselling – Serving the Ottawa Area Since 2006

Please contact Capital Choice Counselling if you’re looking for support and direction while working through the particular difficulties of parenting in a mixed family. Our seasoned counsellors have a specialization in working with blended families, and we provide a secure and encouraging environment for examining the dynamics of your family and forging stronger, healthier bonds. Please get in touch with us right away to find out more about our parenting therapy services and how we can help you and your family.