Time it takes a child to bond in a blended family

Jeffrey Kluger, Author & Science Journalist, shares advice on the length of time needed for a child to bond with their step-parent and step-siblings
Blended Families | Time It Takes A Child To Bond In A Blended Family
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Time it takes a child to bond in a blended family

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Step-siblings can often be as close as, or even closer than, natural siblings. The key is time. It generally takes about six years of a blended family being together, before the distinctions of step-siblings and full siblings have disappeared fully. This can't always happen, particularly when the kids are a little bit older when the parents marry. We really need to see this in young children. It's simple proximity. It's simple habituation to a full functioning organic household, that causes these distinctions to fade away. In fact, step-siblings often end up with relationships that are closer, or at least less fraught, than with full siblings because they have dodged that early life competitiveness for mom and dad's exclusive attention. You particularly see this between firstborns and second born. There wasn't that competition when the baby came along, so they don't have that situation behind them. As a result, the relationship between step-siblings can be less complicated than full siblings.

Jeffrey Kluger, Author & Science Journalist, shares advice on the length of time needed for a child to bond with their step-parent and step-siblings

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Jeffrey Kluger

Science Journalist & Author

Jeffrey Kluger is a senior editor and writer at Time magazine, covering science, health and other fields. He is the coauthor, along with astronaut Jim Lovell, of Apollo 13, the book that served as the basis of the 1995 movie. His more-recent release, Splendid Solution, told the story of Jonas Salk and the Polio Vaccine.  His novel, Nacky Patcher and the Curse of the Dry-Land Boats, was published in June 2007, and his newest nonfiction book, Simplexity: Why Simple Things Become Complex, was published in June 2008.

Before coming to Time, Kluger worked for Discover magazine, where he was a senior editor and humor columnist. Prior to that, he was health editor at Family Circle magazine, story editor at The New York Times Business World Magazine, and Associate Editor at Science Digest magazine. His features and columns have appeared in dozens of publications, including The New York Times Magazine, Gentlemen's Quarterly, The Wall Street Journal, Cosmopolitan, Omni, McCall's, New York Magazine, The New York Post, Newsday, and, of course, Time. He has worked as an adjunct instructor in the graduate journalism program at New York University; is a licensed—though non-practicing—attorney; and is a graduate of the University of Maryland and the University of Baltimore School of Law. He lives in New York City with his wife Alejandra and their daughters, Elisa and Paloma.

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