As the divorce rate remains between 40% and 50% in the US, remarriage is common—and also comes with children in tow. A “blended family” does exactly that: it incorporates two families. Read on to know how to achieve harmony in a blended family.
What Is a Blended Family?
The basic concept of a blended family, or step-family, reconstructed family, or a complex family, is the unit of the family in which one of the two parents have children, but have joined together to form a new family. Parents may have the same sex and homosexuality and may not have children.
A blended family’s parents may be married, often after a previous spouse’s divorce or death. Either of the two spouses may have biological or adopted children who form a family unit together.
There may be no married parents in some modern mixed families; cohabiting parents may both act as role models for children without a marriage ceremony. Cohabiting partners may have biological children, adopting children, and/or having children with their current partner.
In most instances, but not always, the non-biological parent adopts the children of the other. Both biological parents will have to authorize the adoption to formalize adoption unless they are killed. The new step-parent legal authorism with children includes formalization of adoption, with the right to allow emergency medical treatment and the responsibility for providing care if the relationship between parents ends.
Difficulties of the Modern Blended Family
While the idea of the stepfamily has been around for decades, many mixed couples were not understood until the two parents married and decided to look after their children, even though one parent had no biological relation. Today, people in marriages are far more appropriate to live together and raise children collectively without marriage or adoption formality. Blended families may have challenges in terms of supporting children, medical choices, and other complicated topics, such as:
- Conflicting families’ positions when children of various age, such as when an older child of one family becomes the eldest, and children of the other family have to adapt to a new position
- Conflicting each family member’s family values and obligations with regard to everyday activities, proper actions, and other expectations
- Difficulties with a social protocol between the non-involved biological parent and the new stepparent, and which one serves as what kind of role model
- Stress on biological parents when juggling the needs of their children and new spouses, particularly when values may conflict.
- Issues of communication and how to raise kids together
Benefits Of Blended Family
While it may appear that stepfamilies face many challenges combining two-family units into one, a blended family still has great advantages:
- In order to serve as role models, children have the luxury of two or more loving parents.
- Both members of the family grow to understand greater diversity and distinctions.
Often, all family members have more financial and emotional resources available.
- New siblings may interact well with each other and form relationships with their new brothers or sisters that are caring and supportive.
- New family arrangements could be healthier than those that provide a more peaceful and healthy household than their previous ones.
Tips to Create Harmony In Blended Family
It has become increasingly popular for couples to come together and form a new family together with children from their previous relationships or marriages. A variety of complexities come into play, and it takes a great deal of time and effort to merge families into unity and harmony.
It must be remembered that every family is different and can be daunting to every family member in conditions special to them. What works for some people can not work for others, and it may be disappointing and frustrating to expect a change overnight.
At this time, the tips below can be very helpful in restoring unity and in synchronizing all Members with the priorities and aspirations of each of them:
1. Be specific
Partners must be clear and precise about what they expect of each other and embrace and feel special to their children. Complaining does not help.
2. Personal relationship
Establish a relationship with your stepchild that is personal. You and the child will assist with setting aside special time. You also have to stop thinking of the child as the ‘child of your spouse’ and consider the child as your own. Know that in the life of that child you are important.
3. Recognize the problem
It’s not easy to introduce harmony, and it’s half the war won. You have to talk with your spouse about money, childcare, how children should be disciplined, and other issues you still have to agree on.
All participants must respect and be willing. You must focus on respect for and member of the newly blended family.
5. Don’t go overboard
Often the parent has the idea that the child will enjoy more with no rules and being a fun parent. The reality is that in the modern establishment of a blended family, children need rules and consistency because they are from two separate homes and different raising methods. Having the environment as consistent as possible will add more to a child.
Maintaining marriage quality in a blended family
Although newly remarried couples without children are able to spend their first months together, couples with their children are often more consumed than one another by a blended family. But everyone, including the kids, would eventually profit from focusing on building a strong marital bond. They will feel more confident and are more likely to model those values if children see affection, respect, and open communication between you and your spouse.
- Set your time aside as a couple by daily lunch or coffee activities during school.
- Offer a cohesive parenting plan to the kids that can allow them to try to come between you by arguing or disagreeing with them.
It is easy to believe that children know the laws of your new blended family and understand them. However, for children, it may be overwhelming. Allow your children aware of the rules if it ensures that the desired goals are explained. You will boost the unity of your family if you keep your goals clear, interactions open and relaxed, and don’t cross the board with no guidelines.
Also Read: Step-Parenting – How to get ready for a new role