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Young Adults In-Step
Many counselors try to help young adults living in stepfamilies to move towards independence as if they had lived in a traditional two-parent family. Our advice to stepfamilies with young adults varies. It depends upon a few specific markers. If a young adult is living in a newly formed stepfamily they should be given a little extra time to move on. The same is true if the emancipating person seems to wish to get to know their new family members and understand how they will all fit together in a reformed stepfamily.
This task complicates separation issues for all family members. Learning to accept the need-to-belong vs. the need-to-emancipate will help all parties in this situation. Frequently, the young adult is confused by their wish to return to the family and they need to know that this is an expected development of stepfamily living.
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