Unfortunately, conflict between stepparents and kids in a blended family is not unusual. We don’t want it to happen, but it does. To help lessen that conflict, here is a pitfall to avoid.


A lot of times when a parent divorces or becomes a widow or widower, a child will often move into what is called a “power vacuum” left by the departed spouse. The remaining parent may unconsciously lean on that child to be a confidant and even an advisor in making decisions, and as a result, the child becomes a surrogate parent. Without realizing it, the parent has elevated the position of that child to that of an equal, which was never supposed to be their role.

When the parent remarries, this can cause a lot of problems. The child loses their position and the power they gained as an equal and are now expected to submit to the stepparent. As a result, the stepparent becomes a threat and an intruder in the relationship.

Parents, try to avoid this at all costs. Your child needs to be your child. No matter how mature they may seem to be, they cannot and should not be expected to fill the void of a departed spouse. That’s why it’s so important to be in a good local church where you have a pastor, friends, and a good support group so that you don’t have to go through this challenge alone. Lean on other adults, not your children, to help you through this process.

Should you remarry, you’ll be glad you did because it can make the transition for your kids and the new stepparent a lot smoother as you build your blended family.


If you’re dealing with the issue of a departed spouse, don’t lean on your kids to fill that void and put them in a position of being a surrogate spouse. Find a support group—family, friends, professional Christian counselor, pastor, etc.—to help you through this process. Also, know that you are not alone. Jesus gave us the Holy Ghost to be our Comforter. Lean on Him for comfort and support. He will never leave you nor forsake you (John 14:16 KJV).

Get more encouraging tips, truths, and help for blended families in this newly revised CD series.


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Building a Healthy, Happy Blended Family

How to Find Your Boundaries as a Grandparent

Improving Family Communications



Check out this episode of Fighting for Families radio.



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