Living with a new family

A young woman is holding a moving box. She is moving in with a new family. This is a close-up image.

Home should be a place where you feel comfortable and safe. Unfortunately for some, life happens and you can end up in a place you never expected. Coping with the turbulence that comes with losing your safe space can be extremely challenging. The Mix is here with some tips, to help you get comfy in an uncomfy situation.

Accept the challenge of being in a new family

Moving into any new environment can be daunting, let alone a new family. Often, everyone else seems so settled and familiar with one another, which makes you feel even more like the odd one out. But you can rest assured that that feeling won’t last. The key is not to give up on it just as soon as you’ve arrived, or make any judgements about how you’ll fit in.

Take one day at a time 

Think how you felt when you started at a new school. Chances are you wanted to be instant best mates with all the kids in the class. In reality, you probably got to know one or two people and then built up your friend-group slowly. The same principle applies to your new home life. Focus on one family member that you click with, and let them help you to get to know everyone else.

Pull your weight in the new family

It’s great if everyone is making a big effort to help you feel at home, but don’t take advantage. Make sure you find your role in the new fam at the earliest opportunity – whether it’s cooking a meal, washing up or running any kind of errand. Try your best to be a part of the family and accept all the help that they’re giving out. Remember, you’re not a lone-wolf anymore.

And if you get roped-in to an awkward family dinner, click here to figure out how to survive.

Make time for yourself 

Often people don’t think that coping with a new situation can be stressful. Your senses work overtime, in an effort to fit in, which can make it hard to switch off and kick back. You can no longer slouch over breakfast, or scuttle from the bathroom wearing nothing but a well-placed flannel. We promise, all these everyday things will happen eventually. But until they do, make sure you take some time out from this new family where you can simply be yourself.

Keep talking 

As a new family member, you have a voice and the right to be heard. Everyone will want you to fit in, but you shouldn’t be afraid to stand out either. Even if you think people won’t understand, just giving a voice to your thoughts can help get things in perspective. Don’t hesitate to talk to the people living under the same roof as you – in fact other stepchildren may well share your feelings. Just be aware that sometimes it’s good talking to someone outside the situation. Your other parent, a friend, tutor or work colleague may be able to bring a new perspective that can help solve the problem.

Next Steps


moving in

By Nishika Melwani

Updated on 17-Feb-2023