Thursday, May 15, 2008
Blended families are becoming more commonplace. It is estimated that one in three children are in a blended family situation. When families merge together there is an incredible amount of change and with change comes resistance. Adjusting to two part-time environments can be very difficult for kids.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by the challenges of blending two families together, coaching can help. A coach can provide you with the tools you need to make this a smoother transition for your family.
Blended families come in different shapes and sizes. There are single parents with kids who marry someone with no kids, and there are single parents with kids who marry someone who also has kids. There are situations where a spouse has passed away and the remaining spouse, with children, marries someone with kids – or without.
It is not uncommon for couples to want to start their own family. Adding a new baby to a blended family can create jealosy issues and added stress.
Many families who find themselves in any one of these situations often feel overwhelmed and unsure where to turn to for help. While some families can get through these times of adjustment on their own, others need help to cope and adjust.
Some questions you might have:
- When should I start talking to my child about the possibility of blending families together?
- What kind of response should I expect?
- What house rules will we establish, who will establish them, and how will they be implemented?
- How will we juggle our new relationship and our relationships with the kids?
- How will we divide our money?
- Where will we live?
- Will my new spouse discipline my child / children?
- What can I do to form a good relationship with my step-kids?
- What parenting responsibilities will each of us take on, and when?
- What is the best way I can show praise and affection to my step-child?
- How will we deal with jealousy issues?
There are many misconceptions about blended families and stepfamilies, here are a few:
- Step-parents are mean
- Kids of divorce are damaged forever
- Kids adjust to a divorce better if the other biological parent stays away
- The less amount of time you have the step-children the easier it is
- It’s easier to form a new family when a parent has died
It is important to know what to expect when blending two families together. Children go through several developmental stages during childhood into adolescence and, depending on which stage they are in, will react differently to their new family arrangement. Learn what stage your child is in and how to best assist him or her in coping with their new blended family situation.