How the Blended Family Definition is Changing

In 2022, the blended family definition is changing, and with it comes a few different approaches to how people from different generations can come together in one household. Don’t get me wrong. I think that the meaning of family changing isn’t necessarily a bad thing.

The tradition blended family definition is a family made up of two parents and their biological children. A lot of people also call this a step-family – i.e. step-parents, step-children, etc. In this article, I will focus on a blended family definition that is more open to changing.

If you’re ready to get started, I have a few things for you to consider regarding the blended family definition changing in 2022 and beyond.

How the Blended Family Definition is Changing
How the Blended Family Definition is Changing

7 Ways the Definition of Blended Family is Changing

Here’s my look at seven ways in which the definition of blended family is changing.

1 – No longer a stigma with step-parenting

A step-family is a family where one or both parents have children that are not their own. In the past, a certain amount of shame was attached to being a step-parent, but today, things are changing – big time.

This is because of social media and the propensity for more people to share with the world the fact they’re in a step-family. Additionally, there are far more books and movies being made that focus on the blending of a family, the struggles a step-parent faces, and the love between a step-parent and step-child.

2 – Grown children living at home

The younger generation is staying at home longer, living at home longer, and/or cohabitating with their parents longer. The reasons for this are many, but chief among them are the economy, student debt, and a general lack of financial responsibility for many young adults.

Meanwhile, there are baby boomers who have little retirement savings, which means they need to keep working. These parents might welcome their adult children living with them, something that also came with a stigma just a few decades ago.

3 – The Generation Gap

This is a big one, folks. The big trend in America has been for people to marry later in their lives, if at all. The biggest reason? Not only is dating tough, but many people are waiting until they’re rid of their student loans, have a good job, etc.

On the other hand, there are baby boomers who may be looking for a new partner for love or companionship. Take a look at the divorce rate. According to the Pew Research Center, the divorce rate is still far too high, which results in more blended families.

4 – Longer lifespans

The longer life expectancy is good news for many people. However, this may mean that people who are in their mid to late 60s may have a parent who is in their late 80s or 90s. With the longer lifespans and fewer children, the need for a blended family is growing.

However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, especially when you consider the senior generation isn’t in a hurry to move into a nursing home, even though they may need some help with day-to-day activities. This becomes a win-win situation for the adult children and their parents.

5 – More love and less judgment

The general attitude toward the definition of blended families is changing, too. In fact, we should have no judgment toward blended families. Things happen in life, and the best we can do is to make the most of it.

The negative stereotypes about being a step-parent or parent in a blended family are being replaced with more of a give-it-a-try attitude. The attitude of “If it doesn’t work out, no harm, no foul.”

6 – Two-way street of affection

One question that keeps popping up with blended families is: “How can you be a good parent when you aren’t their biological parent.” There are actually a number of different answers to this question, but I think the most common one is this: The love you have for your step-children can be just as strong as the love you have for your biological children.

This mends the two-way street of affection that many step-parents want and need. This doesn’t mean they love their biological children less, it just means that they are getting the love they want and need from their step-children too. Blended families are learning to live together thanks to being able to communicate with other blended families around the world.

7 – More freedom to be yourself

The blended family definition is changing in a very positive way, and that’s because people are more free to be themselves. Families are finding out that it’s okay to be different than a traditional nuclear family where a man and woman stay together their whole lives.

I believe that the biggest reason that a blended family definition is changing is that people are less concerned with the “rules” and more concerned with doing what is best for them and their family. Again, this ties into social media and the ability to communicate with other like-minded people.

The definition of a blended family is changing, and in my opinion, it’s changing for the better. This is why I am including this article as part of a series on the modern family in America at the beginning of the 21st century.

Blended Family Definition: Closing Thoughts

As you can see, the definition of a blended family is changing, for the better. If you’re living in a blended family or considering living in one in the future, the best thing you can do is to read more about their experiences and talk to other people who are in the same boat.

You can do this by following your favorite writers on social media and by joining a handful of online forums that focus on issues related to blended families. Stay strong and keep moving forward. Change is what makes the world go round, as they say.

Kathy Stone

Kathy Stone

Kathy Stone has been in love with words (and books) since she was a child. Kathy’s favorite books growing up were from the Sweet Valley High series, Nancy Drew, and the Goosebumps series. These books gave her a love of reading and writing, and one day she would love to pass that on to others through her own chapter books.Kathy has been a part of this company for a little more than a year and has loved every minute of it. She is a mother of one and is living in Indianapolis, IN. Kathy loves a good book, loves a good laugh, and loves to see the smile on a child's face when they read a good book. Find out more on the Kathy Stone bio page.