The Challenges of Blended Families

Posted on Mar 28, 2016 in Parenting

Divorce is no longer a tabu subject in most parts of the world. Furthermore, the situations in which both partners are the natural parents of all the children in the house are less than common. Blended families are more and more common yet they are far from being normal. There are a lot of challenges that a blended family can encounter on a daily basis. Today we are going to discuss about the most common and most serious issues of a blended family. Hopefully our family relationships advice will help you overcome the challenges of being a part of a blended family.

  • Different parenting styles

When two people decide to unite their families and create a blended family, they must have common ideas on the subject of a happy family. It is important for remarried parents to be able to shape their parenting styles. If parents disagree on the way that children should be raised, it will create tension in the house and children will start having authority problems. In order to avoid such situations, both parents must agree to never disagree in front of the children. Furthermore, one partner should never tell the children to ignore what the other parent said.

  • Disciplining children and step-children

As we mentioned above, the best family relationships advice is for parents need to stay united when dealing with the children’s disciplinary problems. The best thing to do when faced with a behavioral problem is to tell the children that you will discuss it with your partner in order to see what the best punishment should be. This doesn’t just apply when you are disciplining a step-child. It also applies when you are dealing with your own children. You must let the kids know that there is a new paternal figure in the house who has the same level of authority as you.

  • Friend or step parent?

Earning the affection of a step child is one of the biggest problems in blended families. Children have a harder time getting over divorce than adults. Furthermore, they have a harder time accepting that a stranger will be playing the role of one of their parents. In order to connect with step children, you must start by saying that you have no intention of replacing their natural parent but you would very much like to be friends. However, this is a slippery slope as a lot of step parents lose their authority when trying to become friends with their step children. Being friendly is a nice approach, but you must also try to earn the respect of your step children. In order to connect with them, show a genuine interest in their passions and hobbies and try to engage in activities that you would all enjoy.

  • Sibling rivalry

While some children have a hard time accepting a new parent, other children can’t wait to have a complete family. They instantly love the new parent and they do everything in their power in order to be liked. If they have a step brother or sister, they might be dealing with sibling rivalry. In order to avoid such situations, both parents must show the same interest in all of the children.

These are the most common challenges of blended families. These challenges present themselves differently in all families but they can all be solved with patience and communication. You must never let children break the bond you have with your partner. If your love is strong, the children will eventually accept it.