Article: Stress and blended families

Publié le 14/05/2024

By Marc Dellière

In blended families, stress management is a complex challenge amplified by the multiple parental roles to be taken on. 

An American study points out that as responsibilities pile up, the risk of depression increases, especially for parents taking on the roles of parent, stepparent and parent of a newborn simultaneously. 

This pressure is particularly heavy for fathers, who feel guilty if they don't devote enough time to their biological children. 

The vagueness surrounding the role of stepparent also adds stress, as it is difficult for some to find their place without the legitimacy of a biological parent.

To overcome these challenges, open and honest communication is essential, allowing each member to express themselves freely and facilitating conflict resolution. 

Patience and understanding are essential, as adapting to the new family dynamic takes time. 

Strengthening family ties through quality time together is invaluable in fostering better mutual understanding. 

Encouraging individual stress management and seeking professional help when needed are also important steps in preserving the mental well-being of all family members.

Managing stress in blended families requires a proactive approach:

Recognize the diversity of expressions of affection between members, without expecting perfect uniformity.

Favoring open and caring exchanges to resolve conflicts, without leaving room for misunderstandings.

Respect each member's legitimate need for privacy, giving them the space they need to flourish.

Establish clear, educational and fair rules, fostering a serene and reassuring atmosphere.

To comfort children in the turmoil of parental separation, and to maintain strong emotional ties with each of them.

Listen sensitively to children's concerns, especially regarding the integration of step-parents into the family dynamic.

Intervene with fairness and understanding in conflicts between children, avoiding exacerbating tensions.

Welcoming the emotions of elders at the arrival of a new baby, offering invaluable support during this period of change.

In short, a proactive, collaborative approach enables stepfamilies to overcome obstacles and create a solid, fulfilling family environment.

Learn more about Lactium for stress management!


Parenting and depression study: Fathers are at risk, too. ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 5 February 2015. Brigham Young University. <>.

Gender Differences in Depression across Parental Roles. Kevin Shafer and Garrett T. Pace. Social Work, 2015 DOI: 10.1093/sw/swu057

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