A blended family is formed when two single or divorced parents with children from a previous marriage or relation join their families together and live in one household.
In first-world countries, especially North America, since World War I and II, men had to go to war and young women and mothers had to work in factories producing ammunition to sustain the war. In this age, with increased industrialization and commercial activity along with the high cost of living and couples putting higher priority on getting the high-end luxurious home rather than spending quality time to maintain their marriage, they find little or no time for intimacy and meeting the emotional and physical needs of their mates.
Because of this, unfortunately fifty percent of marriages end in divorce in five to seven years.
It has become a challenge to hold a nuclear (a couple with onset of children) family together. Holding a blended family together can be much more difficult. After a few week or months, financial relational conflicts surface. The terms such as “you are not mom,” “you are not my dad,” and “this is my child,” “that’s not my expense” and many more are thrown around in the home. This is usually the beginning of the family’s breakdown. However, we can help you with proper guidance in applying respect, roles, responsibility, rules and accountability in order of priority so that peace and harmony can be experienced, at a greater level in a blended family.
TEN THINGS TO BE PREPARED FOR IN BLENDED FAMILIES
1. Recognize that a blended family cannot and will not function like a traditional nuclear family.
2. Know that blood bonds and sexual bonds are in conflict.
3. Build your partnership and your couple strength; decide and agree together on how to build and manage your new family.
4. Handle the conflict of loyalties ASAP.
5. Be prepared for the consequences of diminished parenting, which goes hand in hand with divorce and separation, even death; plan, organize and structure. Immediately reinstate the 4 Rs: Roles, Rules, Responsibility and Respect. Set your house rules in motion. This doesn’t mean that everything needs to change but that everyone is clear on how things run and will move forward.
6. Deal with the guilt, shame and denial.
7. Don’t be part of the social norm of “Badmouthing.”
8. Co-parent — it’s good for your kids, it’s necessary for your kids, for their healthy development and self-esteem.
9. Visitation: be clear, predictable, respectful and consistent.
10. The four “Rs” in dealing successfully with challenges.
These are important areas of your life together that need to be planned for and carried out by and for everyone in the family. Implementing a plan that addresses these key areas will make it possible to conquer the dragons and build a meaningful life together as a new family. The four Rs are as follows:
1. Deal with Baggage of the Past
a) Acceptance and forgiveness.
b) Unresolved issues with ex spouses and children.
c) Personal weaknesses that hindered past relationships.
2. Love & Respect
a) Care for the nature of God unconditionally.
b) No one is perfect; look for the best qualities in your mate and keep your eyes on them. Your mate is a gift of God. God has a high opinion of him or her. You must too.
3. Communication & Intimacy
a) Honesty and transparency with pure motives.
4. Finance & Budgeting
a) Pooling of funds?
b) Set rules regarding financing.
c) Bring resent past debt
d) Set fixed amount for spending money.
e) Plan and provide for children’s upkeep and expense.
5. Disciplining Children
a) Discuss issues, view them from God’s perspective before confronting your mate. Deal with them in a loving and Godly manner.
b) Each parent disciplines his or her own children with other mate in the background.
c) Be fair, friendly and firm.
6. Discuss how Ex-mates Will be Involved
• Child support