Blended families may sound similar to biological families, but they are very different in many ways, structurally, developmentally and dynamically.
If you are unaware of this difference; and you tend to treat them as the same as they sound; and you use biological family norms and expecting to guide your blended family; you are unconsciously using inappropriate methods.
For example, you cannot use NFL game equipment and rules to play volley ball; you would be creating a confusion, frustration and conflict because they are two different games with different rules.
The same thing applies to blended family and biological family systems.
One can quote an example like; two difference people who are completely from different cultures and tribes, you put them together to live and get alone with one another.
Everyone is going to learn to cope in a new environment; the challenges these two people would face; is the same kind of challenges you, your children and the children from the other side would face.
In order for any blended for family to work there are certain things you need to put into consideration and learn the reality; set a realistic expectation and teach your children on both sides about these realities and the need to adjust.
First you will need to learn specifically how your blended family differs in composition, and dynamics from your respective birth family. Then you can use these step realities make to co-parenting, blended family goals and realistic expectations over time.
Secondly; you will also need to set realistic goals for children in both side, most importantly you should also expect people to criticize your values and your goals; or perceived you to be not man enough etc. But you just have to realize that, they are people who have their own unsolved problems in their families.
You would need to involve yourself with people who would respect you and value your goals, give you support.
There are many common blended family myths and realities that you will have to discover, accept and apply; some of them are: the myth of “you love your wife and you must also love her children”.
But the reality is “you love your wife therefore you will patiently wort at respecting her children” because those children may never love you, even if they do; that love is always different from biological family child love, that is something you have to accept.
And the Myth of: ” excluding your ex-partner out of your family” But the reality is: ” Ones there are children involve from your previous marriage, your ex-partner will always have influence on your live, emotionally, legally genetically and financially; so trying to cut her out that connection from your life, will make life difficult and cause stress for everyone”,
The worst mistake you can make is comparing your blended family to a regular biological family; because your family is structured based on multi-home family with stepfather, step mother and step-siblings and many relatives; where you have difference family roles and many conflicting values.
If you make that comparison there is a chance that your children would become the reason for the family to fall out.
The reason for many blended family divorce; is the issue of disciplinarian, whereby one parent is often unable to resolve clashes over one or more stepchildren; and such conflict would cause unhealed wounds that often piled up to become major issues.
Also comparing the parenting style of blended family with biological parenting, even without childbirth; normally that is the key goal; every blended family wants to achieve that biological family parenting style, in terms of love, care and discipline, but oftentimes that is not the case.
If you try to apply biological family norms without the realistic expectations; that could lead to role confusion, frustration; until you both agreed on a clear key responsibilities.
So you have to realize that these two family systems are not the same even they seems to be, therefore; you have to learn from these common myth and realities of blended family; to build a realistic expectations for your new blended family, role and relationship, without that.
It can cause a great amount of frustrations and disappointments, But by learning the normality together in an average blended family can minimize so much stress and frustrations.
It is important to not to try to cut off your ex mates but rather involved them at some stages in this goal for the family to work out well; so that every party knows their role and responsibilities; and you should also be aware that not all your stepparents or biological parents would agree intellectually that you are a blended family together.
Therefore; they may not adapt or apply important step realities to your expectations as well as relationship. You could face this challenge in the first few years after the marriage, and can cause frustrations and confusions.
But what is key to know is to work together and know that blended families have been around for thousands of years, so it is very normal; even thought people often take it as abnormal, and neither blended or biological family inherently better.
Everyone talks about children cause blended families to fail; they could be resilient but that does not mean they won`t adjust or struggle to accept their new family; it only needs some amount of time for that happen with the right realistic expectations.
What normally cause children to become resilient is when they don`t have adequate time to grieve the loss of their father or mother; but younger children often adjust very easy because they are not much aware of their surroundings.
Researches have shown that it could take from 4 to 7 years for all relationships in the blended family to come together; it could be even more. So, setting a realistic expectation would help you to allow a period of settling in times of discomfort and disharmony.
This is why patient and understand is the key to a successful blended family; but that does not mean that blended families cannot leave in harmony, that is simply not true.
My name is Lamin Darboe, i am an admin of aviralblog.com, I started this blog to motivate and inspire people, using my life experience and knowledge to help to offer solutions to personal issues, family and parenting problems, to bring out the best in them. The articles on this website are based on life experience and personal educational researches. Read more about me