Family Report – Blended Families Blended families, also known as stepfamilies, are more familiar now than ever. Statistics show that 65% of remarriages include children from previous relationships. When families blend to create stepfamilies, things rarely progress as smoothly as planned. Some children might resist the many changes they have to face, while parents might become frustrated or disappointed when their new family doesn’t function the way they want to or like their previous family did.
The three most important things blended families need to do are have appropriate discipline, overcome their difficulties, and spend quality time with each other. The most common problem in blended families is discipline. In disciplining children, parents should remember the Bible passage Ephesians 4:2 “Be humble and gentle. Be patient with each other, making allowances for each other’s faults because of your love. ” New customs, personalities, and memories are all added to the new household. However, it is still important that a child is the child and an adult is still the adult.
Children need a balance of love and discipline in their lives. Stepparents must give their stepchildren their much needed affection, as they would do to their own children. As you do this, the loving feelings will grow in time. It is the role of every parent (step or natural) to obey their responsibility of properly raising children and children have a responsibility to honor and listen to their parents. It would be very helpful if the natural parent talked to their children early on to acknowledge the control the stepparent has and the respect that needs to be given towards the stepparent.
When the children know ahead of time what is expected of them, their acceptance of the new family will be much easier. When two separate families come together, there are going to be many conflicts. Talking about them and understanding the other’s feelings is a necessary and critical thing to do. It’s very tempting for parents to stand up for their own child and point a finger at the stepchild and it’s equally tempting for parents to accuse their spouse of unbalanced discipline. In times like these, parents should remember the Bible passage Ephesians 4:29, 31-32: “Don’t use foul or abusive language.
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgive one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. ” Parents must understand that their children are thrown together with near strangers and suddenly feel they have to compete for their parent’s attention. It will take time to build a history, but someday the feelings will grow from affection into familial love.
It may take time and most likely won’t be very easy, but it is well worth the effort in the end. Quality time is crucial in blended families. Stepparents should remember the Bible passage Isaiah 66:13: “I will comfort as a child is comforted by its mother. ” Stepparents also need to be understanding about the fact that the children need quality time with their natural parent. This gives the children time to know they are still important and that the stepparent is not trying to come between them and their natural parent.
It is also very important to go for an outing as a whole family. Parents can’t forget to make time for the two of them without the kids as well. Children do not have enough maturity to understand the dynamics of a new family and how loving it could be; but adults should. Much like when couples adopt a child, they chose to marry into a family with children. Pray a lot for them and with them, nurture them, care for them, and accept them even when they seem to push away. Blended families are becoming more and more important in our society.
It’s very crucial for adults today to understand what the most important things are in creating a blended family. Having appropriate discipline will help the children grow up to be polite, civil, and courteous. Overcoming difficulties and spending quality time with your new family will help you all become closer and have a healthy relationship. Therefore, it’s clear that having appropriate discipline, overcoming difficulties, and spending quality time with each other are the three most important things for a blended family to do.