Building a family is a fulfilling journey everyone can have. But there are instances where the marriage will end poorly. Nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce. Therefore, it causes an increasing number of blended families. Remarriages create blended families. This kind of family involves parents and children from previous relationships.
As of 2019, almost four million children in the U.S. stay in a household with their step-parents. This new family structure can be complicated for all family members. It takes a year or two for blended families to adjust to changes, says the American Academy of Child and Adolescents. Studies show that over 60% of second marriages involve children from previous marriages. This indicates that blended families are getting stressed along the way due to several challenges.
This article will teach you the following challenges most blended families face.
- Different Style Of Parenting
As mentioned, blended families include parents and children from past family relationships. Therefore, both parents can have different parenting styles in raising their children. Since you will build a new relationship with your new family, it’s best to learn the tips for parenting blended families.
You can start by talking with your partner. If you decide to move in with your children, discussing each other’s parenting styles first is essential. Consider taking notes while doing this. Then, after acknowledging the differences, it’s time to talk and agree on specific rules to be enforced once you move in together.
Start by determining your household rules and identify practical disciplinary actions and consequences. Opting for consequences lets your children learn their lesson for breaking the rules. Always create fair rules for everyone. Remember, focus on establishing rules that make a special bond with your new family instead of merely disciplining them. This is because children might have the notion that they will always be punished.
After talking with your partner and once you moved in, you and your partner can now conduct a family meeting. Invite the family members to the table and explain the rules to be enforced. Aside from this, let them know that you and your partner can implement consequences for any children who will try to break the rules.
- Sibling Rivalry
Another challenge that most blended families can face is sibling rivalry. Although this is a common scenario for nuclear families as well, you can find it a little harder to handle for step-siblings. Step-sibling relationships can be more complicated. This rivalry can be caused by uncomfortableness and jealousy.
But don’t worry because you and your spouse can manage this right. In doing this, it’s best to acknowledge the situation by talking with your partner. Avoid placing labels on your children such as ‘my daughter is a ballerina’ or ‘my son is one of the top students of the class’. Ensure your children won’t feel less of themselves; there is such a competition. You must point out that each has different skills and talents to be nurtured.
Aside from these, acknowledge the issues they may have with one another. Always treat them fairly. Furthermore, make consequences and rewards that will be the same for all the children.
In addition, always provide enough attention to each of them. It would be best to create a schedule for everyone to spend time on. Try to attend different events such as sporting activities. You must avoid making others feel like a child’s being favored over the other.
- Lack Of Family Bonds
One of the issues of a blended family includes poor family bonds. Having a blended family means establishing new family bonds in a unique opportunity. However, remember that forming new bonds won’t happen overnight or in the snap of your finger. It takes time to make the relationship work.
Everyone should be more comfortable with each other. So, it’s always best to start a new family tradition. If you want to have a special connection with your stepchildren, invite them to a reading stories session every night. Also, devise a morning routine, like walking around the park before breakfast. These are some of the ideas you can do to build a strong bond with your blended family.
Family is everything. Whether you’re part of a blended family or not, it’s always great to resolve challenges ahead of time. Being proactive is the key to keeping your family complete and happy. If you’re a step-parent, always discuss these challenges with your partner.
On the other hand, if you’re a child, try to share your thoughts and emotions with your biological and step-parents. That way, all of you can have open communication that can help to face every blended family challenge.