Contributed by Info Guru Jennifer Andrews
Mixed families refer to blended families, or families in which separated parents become involved with a new partner who also has his or her own family.
As a result, the children of mixed families not only have a new step-parent but new step-siblings to meet and live with. Although mixed families may struggle with communication and getting along initially, such issues can be resolved by recognizing common problem areas. Consider the following top ten mixed family problems below and learn how to prevent family troubles before they start.
10. House rules
Mixed families may struggle with conforming to new house rules particularly if they are used to a different set of rules in their old environment. Talk about rules together as a family and see if and where compromises can be need to keep everyone happy.
Step-kids may have trouble communicating with new parental figures and siblings. As a result, they may shut down and/or act out in a state of anger and denial of the new situation.
8. Feelings of betrayal
Children of mixed families may struggle with feelings of betrayal towards their own birth parent if they find themselves getting along well with their new families.
A typical issue is that of resentment in the household, usually coming from the kids of both parents. Kids feel resentment towards the changes in their lives and living arrangements as a result of their parents’ wants and needs.
6. Left out
A new child may feel left out of his or her new family and struggle to fit into a family of diverse personalities. Parents should be sure to listen to the needs and wants of all children and keep them included.
Children and parents of blended households may struggle with feelings of fear over the present and future. Anxiety may result from having to change schools, meet new friends and learn a new lifestyle.
4. Furry additions
A common stress experienced is the addition of new animals and pets to a household. One side of a family may not have had pets in the past or have allergies to cats or dogs. Furthermore, there may be the potentials for animals not to get along.
3. Sibling rivalry
Siblings may not get along well at the beginning and find it difficult to share. This can lead to a lot of fighting, screaming and potential physical fights that should be attended to immediately.
2. Space shortage
Parents combining two families may encounter a big problem when it comes to sharing the space of a new household. Primarily, there may not be enough of it! Kids may have to share room, parents’ bathrooms and there may only be one television set in the house to fight over.
In addition to pet allergies, kids and parents may have allergies to certain foods or materials that limit what other family members can eat or have. Trouble may ensue if little Johnny or Annie doesn’t want to give up her favorite peanut butter sandwiches for the likes of a step-sibling!