Parenting is tough, whether you are a child’s biological parent, a step parent or a grandparent caring for your grandchildren. Blended and nontraditional families can provide a great model of functional family relationships. But, ensuring your blended family works well together can require some problem solving skills.
What are some of the obstacles a blended family might face? Well, there are plenty, but to name a few:
Establishing family boundaries and deciding who should serve which roles.
“New” adults may have very different parenting styles from what a child is used to, making it hard for a kid to figure out how they are supposed to act or what expectations they need to meet. One adult may find themselves going easier on a child because they want to get on their good side, while another might be harder on the child because they want to be respected. It’s good to try and find balance, but that’s often harder than it sounds.
Changing relationships between parents and children.
Kids might perceive a new head of the household as driving a wedge between them and their mom or dad. They may also resent the attention the newcomer gets, or feel they are being replaced. Kids might even feel like they have been abandoned by their parents. This can be depressing or confusing, or make them angry. In turn, they may act out and start pushing their boundaries as quickly as adults set them.
Family culture clashes.
Kids will probably need time to adjust to a new living situation. That’s especially true if other children come along with the new grownup. Discovering how to move through life while considering an entirely set of new people is difficult for anyone. But for kids and teens, this adjustment can feel downright invasive.
These are just some of the issues that blended families or relatives might encounter when caring for children who are not their own. For kids, this is all compounded by the stress of parent separation, death or any number of other experiences they may have already been through. There really are no set rules for this. So, practicing problem solving within your blended family is very important.
Luckily, Held Law Firm can help you provide the stability and support that the kid in your life needs. Give us a call at (865) 685-4780.
The information in this blog was compiled and written by Faith Held.