The blended family and stepfamily that finds the most success is one with committed parents at the helm who love and respect each stepfamily member as unique individuals. Some blended families are together for years and still don't find themselves compatible. It is not easy for two different families to come together, especially when stepkids are adults and beginning their own families. The blended family, just like any other family, needs clear guidelines and expectations communicated from the start to ensure success.
Blended family with adult stepkids faces unique challenges
The blended family with adult stepkids may not seem to blend as readily as with underage children because the adult stepchild has moved out and moved on with her life, possibly having her own children. Divorce is difficult at any time in life, and a stepmom or stepdad can be a particular challenge for adult stepkids to accept when they are no longer at home and experiencing the remarriage process. It is okay for an adult stepchild to not feel bonded with a stepfamily, but it isn't okay to not respect the stepparent as their parent's spouse. When grandchildren are involved, it can be confusing for them to see other grandparents treated differently; it merely limits the love for the stepkid and their children, not the stepmom or stepdad. The blended family has enough love to include adult stepkids and their spouses and children.
Fair and equal treatment of children essential for compatibility
The blended family works best when all children receive a fair amount of attention and equal treatment by adults. Parents should communicate clear rules and guidelines to children, and remind stepchildren to treat them and each other the way they wish to be treated. It's best not to have different rules for different children. When rules and guidelines are established and enforced fairly between all children in a remarriage, the stepfamily functions as one unit. When house rules are broken, the biological parent should always enforce the rules with the support of the stepparent. Children should show respect for stepsiblings and stepparents at all times, and rudeness should never be tolerated. According to The Blended and Step Family Resource Center, a blended family falling into all out war is never the fault of the child. It is the responsibility of the parents to communicate rules and expectations.
Blending not a matter of personality or incompatibility
The blended family is like any other family, rife with unique personalities that sometimes clash. When children are born, parents are immediately bonded with that child no matter how challenging the personality; it should be no different for a stepfamily. However, as biological parents may sometimes not like their child's behavior or specific personality traits, the same can be said for the blended family. BFA says that love and acceptance from a stepmom or stepdad goes a long way toward forging a bond with stepkids in a blended family.
The blended family is a unique group of individuals, coming together to create a new family unit. Sometimes it appears that some stepfamilies never accept their members as family, no matter how long they have been together. Divorce and remarriage can be difficult for adult stepchildren to embrace, but whether they do is ultimately their choice. Communication regarding clear expectations and rules in a blended family helps ensure fair and equal treatment, as well as respect for stepsiblings and stepparents. The blended family is no different than any other family, with unique personalities coming together, but The Blended and Step Family Resource Center says it can be successful with loving and supportive adults at the helm.