The tricky path to a happy stepfamily

    By admin

    The Brady Bunch might have been TV's ideal stepfamily, but in reality many face a tricky path to living happily under one roof, a US psychologist says.

    James Bray, an associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine in Texas, says divorce rates among stepfamilies are 10 per cent higher than those for first marriages, and many fall apart because of a lack of focus on three key areas.

    He says the best ways to avoid conflict lie in stepmums and stepdads having a strong marriage, a parenting plan and laying off criticism of their ex-partner in front of their child.

    The type of stepfamilies most likely to be split apart by divorce are built on a 'romantic' model, with parents remarrying so they have an 'instant new family', but ultimately ending up disappointed by unrealistic expectations and the stresses of a blended family.