Blended families are described as a family that consists of an adult couple who have children from a previous relationship and get married to have more children together.
Blended families, also known as a complex family, are growing in the recent days. With divorce on the rise, many people tend to get married again and create a new family. Although remarriage is often helpful for the couple, there are a number of problems attached to it.
Moreover, when children from either parent are involved, difficulties are bound to find their way.
Mentioned below are top 5 blended family challenges that any new family might encounter. However, with proper talks and efforts, all of these issues can be easily settled.
1. Children may refuse to share the biological parent
Usually, when a parent gets into a new relationship, it is the children who undergo the most effect. Not only are they now supposed to adjust into a new family with new people, they are also placed in a situation where they have to share their biological parent with other siblings i.e. children of the stepparent.
It is expected out of any stepparent to provide the stepchildren with the same love, attention and devotion as they would to their own children.
However, biological children often fail to cooperate and see the new siblings as a threat. They demand their biological parent to give them the same time and attention that is now divided amongst many other siblings. Matters get worse if they had been a single child and are now supposed to share their mother or father with other siblings.
2. The rivalry between step-siblings or half-siblings may arise
This is a common blended family challenge particularly when the children are young.
Children have a hard time adjusting to a new household and accept living with newer siblings. Biological siblings often have rivalry amongst them, however, this rivalry intensifies with step-siblings or half-siblings.
Children often completely refuse to accept this new family set up. Even if the parent tries to be as fair as possible between their biological and stepchildren, the biological children may feel as if the parent is favoring the stepchildren leading to countless fights, tantrums, aggression and bitterness in the family.
3. Financial issues may increase
Blended families tend to have more children as compared to a traditional nuclear family.
Due to more children, these families also have increased expenses. If the couple already has children, they start off with a high cost of running the entire family and fulfilling all the needs. The addition of a new child, if the couple plans to have together, only further increases the total costs of raising children.
Moreover, divorce proceedings are also expensive and take up a big chunk of money. As a result, money can be scarce and both the parents would have to get jobs in order to fulfil the needs of the family.
4. You may have to face legal disputes
After a divorce, the property and all the belongings of the parents are divided.
When one of them finds a new partner, the legal agreements require being changed. Mediation fees and other similar legal expenses may place further strain on the family’s budget.
5. Co-parenting may pose additional problems
Often after a divorce, many parents choose to co-parent for the better upbringing of their children.
Co-parent refers to the mutual efforts of parents who are divorced, separated or no longer live together to raise a child. This means the other parent of the child would often visit the ex-spouse’s place to meet their children.
It often causes arguments and fights between the two separated biological parents but may also trigger an unpleasant reaction from the new partner. He or she may see the former spouse of their husband or wife as a threat and be invading their privacy and therefore, may not be too kind to them.
Although the many problems, these issues usually only exist when it is a newly formed blended family. Slowly and gradually with much effort and effective communication, all of these issues can be eliminated. It is very important that the couple first focus on their own relationship and strengthen it before trying to solve other issues, particularly those related to children. Partners that trust each other are more likely to get through the tough times as compared to those who lack trust and allow inconveniences to get the best of their relationship.