Blended Families face Unique Challenges
The image of the traditional American family — the nuclear family of the Clevers and Huxtables — was once limited to mom, dad, and children living happily together under roof. Today the notion of a typical family has gradually expanded to included blended families of stepparents and stepchildren, like the Bradys and the Kardashians.
Blended families are one of the fastest growing segments of families in the United States, but unlike the nicely packaged problems seen on Television, these families struggle with issues that are anything but easy. Major issues that newly blended families face include integrating discipline styles and coping with strong emotions, while at the same time building new relationships from scratch.
“It’s hard to step out of that role – am I a friend or am I a parent? But as an adult, you’re the parent, you have to discipline because there are going to be times that they’re with you alone,” said New York psychologist Dr. Janet Taylor in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
“Come from a nurturing standpoint, where you teach them responsibility, but do it from a place of love.”
Yes, love is a key factor but the major role begins with the new couple and what they have agreed upon before they said I do. If you begin to look at why the child or children are acting out, you may have a better understand on how to solve the issues at hand. First they have suffered a great loss in loosing the other parent and secondly adjustment doesn’t come over night. Continue to esteem your mate but at the same time don’t stop showing affection for all your children.
David A. Harris-Gavin