BLENDED FAMILY

Diversity and its role in the settling in process

BLENDED FAMILY

A blended family is a family where one or both carers have children from a previous relationship, but they have combined to form a new family.

  CHALLENGES OF THE BLENDED FAMILY

Blended families are a part of the patchwork that make the modern world so wonderfully varied and interesting. Blended families may experience a range of difficulties in terms of child support, medical decisions, and other complex issues.

·         Conflicting roles of family members when children are of different ages, such as when an older child of one carer becomes the eldest and younger children of the other family must readjust to a new position.

·         Incongruent family values and responsibilities of each family member with regards to daily chores, appropriate behaviour, and other expectations.

·         Stress on the biological carers when balancing the needs of their children and the new partner(s), particularly where values may conflict.

·         Communication issues regarding how to jointly raise the children.

·         Challenges in location and living situations with families from varied backgrounds.

Many blended families successfully overcome these difficulties, becoming strong, supportive family units for every member.

BLENDED FAMILY BENEFITS 

While it may seem that stepfamilies face many problems blending two family units into one, there are great benefits to a blended family as well. Children have the benefit of two, or more, caring parents to act as role models. The joys of a blended family may result in greater financial stability, new siblings creating more caring and supporting relationships and new family structures that are healthier than previous ones creating a more peaceful and stable household.