Pros and Cons of Living in a Blended Family You Didn’t Realize
Family isn’t always blood. It’s the people in your life who want you in theirs. The ones who accept you for who you're. The ones who'd do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.
― UnknownMan meets woman. Man and woman fall in love. Man and woman decide to get married. Man and woman merge their respective families into one big and cheerful blended family. They all live happily ever after.
Sounds like such a wonderful prospect, doesn’t it? A blended family is the result of two families merging into one and living together. This is usually the case when a previously-married man and a previously-married woman decide to get married and live together with their respective children.Successfully managing a family can be quite a task, nobody denies that. However, what happens when a couple has to manage not only each other. Also their own and the others children? It’s different for a couple with a blended family, there’s barely any time that they can spend with one another, owing to the large army of kids taking up their focus and energy. Like everything, it's its pros and cons. Even so, it depends upon how the couple decides to build and handle their new blended family. We'll now discuss the advantages and disadvantages of living in a blended family. ProsYes, living in a blended family may not be a piece of cake, at least in the beginning. However, with patience, love, compassion and willingness, it'll turn into a beautiful journey. Living in a blended family certainly has its advantages.Economic AdvantagesJudgmental people tend to think of this kind of advantage with disdain, “What, he’s remarrying for money?! That’s horrible.”. However, it isn’t the ‘for money’. Part that you remarry, right? We know it’s about the companionship and beautiful relationships. However, we can't deny that a blended family means two sources of income, which inevitably means a better standard of living for everyone. Single-parent families often have to struggle with making ends meet. Blended families help reduce the struggle and the stress that accompanies it to quite an extent.Happier Parents = Happier ChildrenIt is highly likely that prior to the formation of the blended family or in the parents’. Previous marriages, the atmosphere at home was tense and full of anger and hostility, which may cause the children to act out in some way. Parents in a blended family are more likely to be very happy with one another as compared to a couple on the verge of separation. Happier parents mean a happier and more positive atmosphere at home, which ultimately results in happier children as well.Additional Role ModelsBlended families insure that the children now have two parents to look up to. it's an opportunity for the children to have an additional role model apart from their biological parents. Research suggests that the presence of both parents as well as lots of new relatives, as compared to a single-parent family might help in better all-round development of the children. The relationship between the parents in a blended marriage too, sets an example for the children who learn more about how intimate relationships really are.More FamilyA blended family is so different from other families: it not only results in having a new parent/new step-children. Also in so many new relatives with whom it's possible to establish amazing relationships. In a blended family, there are more siblings, more grandparents, more uncles, more aunties. More cousins to love, to support, to celebrate. To have fun with. Blended families mean more family. Undoubtedly, more shoulders offering love and support. Ability to AdjustA blended family isn't just about a few people, it’s about two differently raised families with different norms, different ideals. Different values living together under one roof. Though it may seem difficult to manage in the beginning, the truth is that it's a wonderful opportunity for all the children along with the parents to learn to live with each other, share things, adjust. Compromise without complaining. Children learn how to handle problems, how to manage relationships. How to adjust being one of so many different people. This prepares them for any future situations that may demand these abilities.Cons Though we wish it wasn’t so, the reality can really be far, far away from the rosy picture you’ve painted for yourself, your new spouse. Your new blended family. This is about different personalities living together, after all. It’s really not easy. For married couples without children, there’s time and opportunity to get to know each other and each other’s habits completely before getting children into the picture. Since this isn't the case when it comes to a blended family, there can be a few disadvantages.Acting OutTo be fair, this isn’t something that children do deliberately. it's a big change for children, even you and your spouse, to suddenly accept. Children may feel insecure, rebellious, angry with you/your spouse, which may result in them acting out in school or at home. Acting out could be anything from throwing tantrums, telling you/your spouse that you’re not their real parent, hitting/bullying other children. Even being listless and withdrawn from everything. Confusion and JealousyJealousy is a common emotion experienced by children in blended families. Children may be jealous of the new step-parent taking up their biological parent’s love, affection. Attention. Even because of having to share their biological parent with their new step-siblings. Children are often confused about what to feel about the new family. They may feel like they're betraying their estranged parent. At the same time may feel guilty about not being happy enough for their other parent’s happiness. Younger children may be jealous about having to share their things. More importantly, their biological family, with their step-siblings and may act out.Problems of DiscipliningOne of the biggest problems that a blended family might face is that of discipline. Children may even refuse to accept any punishment from a step-parent. Sometimes, as the methods of punishment may differ from parent to parent, it may even lead to problems between the couple. Disciplining the other’s child can cause feelings of anger and doubt in the couple. Similarly, disciplining by a step-parent may cause feelings of resentment towards him or her in the step-children which may become more intense as time passes.Ill-FeelingsIt isn’t necessary that every person in the new blended family likes each other in the beginning. In fact, it may even be difficult to stay civil to one another, let alone have harmonious relationships. You've to remember though, that this is a drastic change for not only you and your new spouse. Also for the children. In fact, it's harder for them as they're not with a loving new partner whose support keeps you going. Sometimes, one spouse may not like the other’s children. The children may not like each other or the new step-parent. it's possible and not uncommon for ill-feelings to generate in a blended family. InsecurityInsecurity is a problem that must be handled carefully if you want your blended family to be a happy one. Moving to a new house/neighborhood/city, sharing space with strangers as well as someone new taking up their biological parent’s attention tends to make children very insecure. Unfortunately, insecurity isn't limited to children alone. Even a spouse may feel intimidated by the partner’s attention towards his/her biological children. As we've seen, living in a blended family has both pros and cons. it's likely that most of us tend to consider the cons more than the pros, as taking a risk seems too risky when it comes to your family. However, the important question here is, are you willing to work on these problems if they arrive? No problem and no issue is so great that it can't be solved. In case of a blended family, if both the partners are ready and willing to take the efforts to make it work, then these tips might help. A blended family is a wonderful institution filled with love, respect, laughter. Affection. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t give it a try. Just be patient and you’ll marvel at your happiness later! Good luck!