Blended Family Issues
As the member of a family dealing with new marriages it's hard to accept a new 'step-parent.' As a parental figure coming into a family with children there is hesitancy toward your position within the home. As the actual parent you are likely to feel guilt for even putting your children in this position. All of these relate to Blended Family issues and learning how to deal with them can ensure that you and other members are working toward understanding each other a little bit better.
Blended Family Issues usually occur when children don't know how to accept their mother or father remarrying and having a "new guardian" in their home. As the new spouse coming in or as the parent who decided to remarry, you might have some questions toward dealing with children and making sure that their happiness comes first. A divorce can have a significant impact on kids and depending on their age, they may not accept it or even understand it. If you choose to remarry and one of your children is in their teenage years, it may be hard for them to accept this new parent figure within their lives. Communication between each member of the family is important during this time. Whether or not the divorce has caused problems with the children is also important to clear up. The key here is to confront the issue and bring any concerns out into the open.
How Blended Family Issues Becomes Unhealthy
Blended family issues become unhealthy when the relationships begin to affect the children. Although this can be situational, there may be some resentment toward the divorce which is why the behavior is toward the new spouse. When there is anger and grudges stored in children it can even cause some behavioral issues in them outside of the home. As the mother or father remarrying you may feel an extreme amount of pressure and stress in this situation. Holding it in and making it seem okay with your children is unhealthy and more damaging to the group as a whole. Favoring one parent over the other can cause pain and marrying someone that doesn't treat your children with the respect that they need is extremely unhealthy. Whatever the problem is there must be exposure, which is why blended family issues are addressed in counseling sessions aimed toward each member of the family.
How Blended Family Issues Affect a Marriage
A new marriage is most difficult when children are present. Majority of the time kids don't see this new man or woman as a parent figure at all. Conflicts pertaining to discipline and respect may arise and have a significant impact in the new marriage. Blended family issues affect the new couple by making a partner feel unwelcome and unworthy around children. Knowing how to treat them is a difficult concept to grasp being that they are not your kid but they remain important to you. If they do not want to accept a new marriage it can create a problem in the child's communication and expression. When every single person sits down and expresses frustrations that they have toward a divorce, new marriage and discipline it is then that the unit will be able to work together and create mutual respect. If the children understand that this new marriage is not replacing the first one they may begin to open up to the new adult within the home. At times the root of a problem is because of a misunderstanding and assumption. Resolving these two elements can create an open mind within children.
How Therapy Helps
Therapy helps by addressing both the kids and parent figures. Learning how the children feel about this new marriage is the most important factor within the household. Counseling clears these questions and concerns adequately within a safe environment. If there is anger and guilt associated with the new marriage they are expressed openly and this confrontation can lead to healing. Creating a sense of trust between one other and learning how to communicate allows a blended family to cooperate with each other. Children cannot be discriminatory toward a new relationship as long as it is healthy and beneficial to the family. The parent cannot be forceful toward the children in spending time with this new spouse either. Letting the family members warm up to each other and develop individual trust is the only way that the group can begin to function smoothly. Repressing these frustrations and concerns will only make the home dysfunctional. If you are dealing with any of these issues in a new marriage it's important that you address them immediately. By going to counseling each person has the opportunity to express themselves and create a new clarity toward each other based off of a mutual understanding.
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