Blended families are the modern type of families that are becoming more popular due to high rates of divorce. Together with advantages for all their members, there are also many challenges the people need to overcome in order to become a real family, in which they would love and support each other. The principal challenge of creating a blended family lies in the necessity to bring together children from different marriages and find a way to coexist without any conflicts. Therefore, with the increase in the number of such families, it is essential to have more information about how to deal with the differences and benefit from the advantages a blended family provides.
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The increase in the number of blended families all over the world provides numerous challenges for their members. Only in the United States, 40% of adults have a family member from the previous marriage of their spouses, and this situation leads to various problems (Kumar, 2017, p.1). One of the common issues that newly blended families face is the lack of understanding due to the difference in backgrounds and habits of its members. Therefore, the first step in creating a friendly and supportive family is to reduce misunderstandings between its members.
Besides, most blended families have financial difficulties due to the previous divorce and the following division of property. They also do not contribute to developing good relations between their members (Zagata, 2018). In order to secure the financial stability of a newly blended family, the parents have to resolve their financial issues from the past. This process takes time, and it is accompanied by constant worries about financial support for the children.
In blended families, children are the ones who need more attention due to the possible communication issues with their stepparents. About 60 to 70 percent of all the families include children from previous marriages, so it is necessary to consider their opinion first in order to convey the sense of belonging to a new family (Meleen, 2018, para.3). Another problem with children in blended families arises from their conflicting roles. It happens when one of the children, the older one, becomes the eldest. In this case, the other children might dislike the necessity to adjust to the new situation. It might result in constant conflicts between the children. Therefore, the primary task for parents and stepparents is to create bonds with their children for the future successful resolution of conflicts in the family.
The importance of bonding between parents and children in blended families arises from the necessity to provide a better future for the children. According to the research, family stability has a direct bearing on their academic performance and the possibility of child mental disorders and depression (Meleen, 2018). Therefore, the parents should create a stable environment for their children in order to avoid the above mentioned problems and provide them with a better future and facilitate the process of family transition.
Moreover, in order to make children happy, parents need to think about their personal happiness as well. Like all the people who start to live together, they might face various communication issues. This situation would have a negative impact on their children as the fragile stability of a newly blended family is already a source of stress for all of its members. Hence, the parents should take responsibility for the mutual understanding among them and their children and stepchildren, and solve their communication issues as quickly as possible.
Together with the challenges every blended family faces, there is a number of opportunities for both parents and children in such families. However, they appear only when both the parents and the children have resolved all their issues and become a real family in all respects. Blended families bring love and support into the lives of their children who cannot be responsible for the previous failure in the marriage of their parents.
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Another advantage of a blended family lies in the opportunity for children to learn how to resolve conflicts successfully and communicate with different types of people. The diversity of their members’ backgrounds and habits leads to a better understanding of other people and secures the ability to compromise (Zagata, 2018). As a result, they become more flexible due to the provided role models and develop better problem-solving skills.
Blended families provide their members both with challenges and advantages. Most of the challenges are somehow connected with children as they need to adjust not only to a stepparent, a complete stranger to them, but also his or her children from the previous marriage. They also need to resolve such issues as possible sibling rivalry. Meanwhile, their parents also face numerous issues mostly related to financial difficulties resulting from divorce and division of property. Once they cooperate to solve all the problems, the advantages for the blended family would come. Strong bonds created between all of the family members contribute to better help in problem resolution for children and the general happiness of a family.
Kumar, K. (2017). The blended family life cycle. Journal of Divorce & Remarriage, 58(2), 110-125.
Meleen, M. (2018). Blended family statistics. Web.
Zagata D. (2018). Advantages of a blended family. Web.