Building a relationship with a new stepfamily is not easy. A lot may come along with it, all the new people to be met, new rules to follow and a whole new surrounding if you are the moving party. It may be an overwhelming and frustrating task to get along with and understand your stepfamilies views, but with a little help from both parties, the end may be rewarding for everyone. It takes a little more practice and effort in a blended family than it does in a biological family. When watching a television show or even reading a chapter book or magazine, most likely sometime or another, some sort of stepfamily relationship was present. When exactly is a stepfamily?
According to the website Child line: Stepfamilies come together when people marry again or live with a new partner. This may be after the death of a parent, separation or divorce. It can also mean that children from different families end up living together for all or part of the time. (Child line) There are many differences between blended families and biological families. "In a biological family the couple has time to get to know each other and prepare themselves for a new addition to the family, but in a blended family, the uniting of a couple in marriage comes with it, and immediate family". (Bobbie Reed 56).
With this immediate family also comes problems: One problem most blended families will find themselves in is the difference of house rules and how they are enforced. When you first move into a house with your new family, the rules will most likely collies with each other. The best things to do are sit down and discuss what rules will best fit the new setting. (Reed 70) When conflicts do arise, it may be a good idea to call a family meeting to discuss the basic family rules and issues that may be in question. "Communication is the most important factor.
A family that is open and honest leads to a better understanding" (Jane Hurwitz 13). The divorce ratings have been rising higher each year. Now, "About 50 percent of all Americans currently have some sort of step relationship, from step sibling to stepparent to step-grandparent " (Hurwitz 1). It is also proven that, "About 50 percent of the 60 million children under the age of 13 in this country are currently living with one biological parent and that parent's partner, someone to whom the child is not biologically related" (Hurwitz 2-3). It depends on the situation to decide which parent will have custody of the children. "In most cases, when a family separates by divorce, the children usually live with their biological mother full-time, and visit their biological father on weekends or holidays.
As a result, stepmothers are usually weekend moms" (Hurwitz 56-57). What comes to mind when the title stepmother is heard? So the words evil and mean come to mind? Really, that depends on what relationship they build with each other. "The husband and wife must discuss and decide what kind of relationship the stepparent and stepchild will have. Will they have a close, intimate bond, or just a friendship?" (James H. Bray 33).
Jealousy may play a big part of the relationship between step relatives, whether it be stepparent to stepchild or vice-versa. "It is often hard for a child to get along with and accept a stepparent when they still haven't accepted their parents divorce let alone having their mother or father marrying someone new" (reed 71). When a child is jealous toward their stepparent, the child will probably face a lot of difficulties when trying to build a positive relationship with their stepparent. It is also easy for children to be possessive of a parent or relative they may feel that they are losing. This also occurs in children of all ages. "Some children become very jealous towards their stepparents or even stepchildren.
When children start to feel threatened by step relatives, they will most likely become overly possessive" (Bray 162). There is another person from the outside that sometimes may cause problems within a new stepfamily, maybe not intentionally but it happens. This person is the formal spouse in most cases. Others may include the formal spouse's family: Many divorced couples still want to continue relations with their formal spouses family. On the other hand if one of them wants nothing to with the others family and children are involved they should put their feelings of resentment or bitterness behind them due to the well-being of their children. Another bad habit adults get themselves into is putting their children in the middle of their own personal problems toward each other.
In some cases parents may try to make the other parent jealous of them when doing so, one must take into thought the well being of the children involved. Author Elaine Fant le Shim berg says: It's also hard for children when one of their biological parents despises their other parents new partner. It is not hard for former spouses new partner to argue with the ex spouse because of competition, but it should never be done in front of children, actually its probably not necessary at all. There are many benefits when stepfamilies take the time to work together and get to know each other. Relations within ones new family may become closer than those of biological families. It is very important to take different things into consideration when trying to survive in your stepfamily.
Its food to recognize the differences between a stepfamily and a first marriage family. It may take awhile for children to adjust to a new parent. Another key point to remember is that communication can solve a lot of problems in any family setting.