Navigating the Challenges of Blended Families
While family conflict happens in all types of families, blended families have many unique issues that many people are unaware of until they start dealing with. Here are solutions to the most common blended family problems. It will take to time gain shared history, figure out new relationships and adapt to the new. Why do more than 60% of blended families end in divorce? problems; custody, visitation, and/or financial support issues; stepsibling relationship problems.
Financial difficulties can arise from ongoing legal disputes or mediation fees. Financial Difficulties Blended families often have large numbers of children, and all of the costs associated with raising them.
Money may be scarce because of divorce proceedings.
Solving these financial issues is difficult, but can take a large amount of worry off the shoulders of the parents. Get help from a financial advisor to get your finances on track; consult a lawyer if you think you are not receiving enough child support, or are paying too much in alimony to your ex.
Blending finances in blended families is difficultbut with a little help you can get things in order. Infringing on Territory Children in blended families often have difficulties with one another's turf. If one half of the new family moves into the home of the other half, expect considerable amounts of fights and tears in the first few months.
The children whose home it originally was may feel threatened by others taking over parts of their space; the children moving into the home will not be happy either because they feel like the place is not 'theirs' and they are not welcome. If you can't, as a family, move into a new home together, try the following tips to reduce territorial issues: Start from square one on bedrooms: Create schedules for who may use the family computer when, and how long each child may play the Playstation.
Encourage the children to share, and provide praise or rewards when they do so. Scheduling Conflicts Does Jane's horse riding lesson conflict with John's baseball game? Coordinating after-school schedules can be difficult. As with organizing the house, try to give each child equal amounts of time and extra-curricular opportunities. Scheduling in time with the parent with whom each child is no longer living can also throw a wrench in the scheduling.
A few different options exist: Have all of the kids go to their other parent on the same weekend each month to ensure the kids are all in the blended family enough to bond with one another and work out the issues that arise.
That means that the newly remarried are now both continuing to be the natural parent to their existing children and step parent to the children who come with the second spouse. Sometimes it is only one spouse who brings children into the marriage. Regardless of the particular configuration of children and stepparents, everyone involved has to deal with difficult challenges. Here, at Mental Help.
Net, we hear about those challenges when the wife or husband writes to us complaining that their new spouse seems to love their biological children more than their new spouse. Here is a sample E.
The Challenge of Mixed or Blended Families
Mail recently posted on "Reader Questions," "I have been divorced from my daughter's father for almost 11 years. The man I am now dating is the first real boyfriend I have had since my divorce. He is also divorced and has 3 daughters who live with their mother in another state.4 Ways Stepchildren Damage Relations With Your New Spouse
The issue I have is with my 11 year old daughter. She is very jealous of every aspect of my relationship. She wants to know what we are talking about when he and I are having a conversation. She wants to know what he and I are doing when we are out on a date. We spend one night a weekend with her and allow her to invite a friend.
Blended Families: The Only Marriage Advice You'll Ever Need
We play board games, go bowling, to the movies, sporting events, dinner, all types of things and this was my boyfriend's idea.
He wants things to be easier with her but nothing seems to be working.
It's putting strain on our relationship and I don't know what to say to her to get her to understand how it makes me feel. I feel very stressed and caught in the middle because I want everyone to be satisfied and happy, including me.
The 11 year old daughter, on the threshold of adolescence, may be experiencing fears about losing her mother, knowing how to cope with a stepfather and attempting to interfere with and even destroy the new relationship the mother and boyfriend have in order to maintain the status quo. From the child's point of view, the status quo feels much safer than the changes represented by the boyfriend. It is very common for parents who have divorced to feel guilty because of the negative effects divorce can have on children.
The Challenge Of Mixed Or Blended Families
The result of this guilt can be to act over indulgently towards the child. This comes in the form of allowing the child to come between the adults who have formed a new family partnership together.
There is nothing more unhealthy than for a child to come to believe that he she can manipulate the adults. Divide and conquer is the most frequently used device used by youngsters in both the new blended families or within intact families. The bottom line is that if boundary lines between adults and children are not firmly set, children will "run rings around adults.
Mother and boyfriend have decided what is best for the 11 year old. However, do they really want her present at all of those activities?
Is it best for their relationship that she be present so frequently? Mom is constantly appealing to the understanding and reasonableness of her daughter. Since when are 11 year old girls rational and reasonable?
Here is a mother who needs to set firm limits with her daughter while also encouraging two way communication through which mother and daughter discuss what each wants with Mom making the final decision.