With the increased percentage of divorces and remarriages blended families are also on the rise. 75 percent of divorcees get remarried and 60 percent of those second marriages result in failure. According to stats out of new marriages 40 percent have one of the couple whereas 20 percent have both of them getting remarried.
Raising blended families is not only challenging but also one of the greatest. It is really struggling to make the blended families a story of success for the each of the couple but most importantly for the children. In the worst case scenario the major losers also are the children as not only their education is affected but also the life may become miserable. The parent couple has the major role to play to not only counsel the children but also to discipline them and help them to be a successful person of the society.
It typically takes from 2 to 5 years for a blended family to actually establish or “blend” and accept the role of each other. The time may be less or more depending upon the number of children and their age bracket. Very young or relatively older children blend relatively earlier whereas the children in between relative take longer.
Role of Parent and Step Parents
Role of maternal and step parent is very important in the context of a blended family as they are not only the founders but also have the key responsibility of get the things going in any of the difficult times and hard to manage complex family scenarios. The most important thing is the emotional upbringing of the children and step children for each of the blended family parents. They have to realize that their own children and their step children need to be treated alike and have same emotional demands as any other child.
The task is somewhat easy if one or both of the couple also were brought up in a blended family. In that case they tend to know the feelings and difficulties of the child who is going through during the transition phase of accepting a new person as his/her step parent. The blend family members need to realize that the transition will take its time and is not to going to happen overnight. Every one of them needs to accept the change and diversity and the new demands to get the things smooth and acceptable for every member of the new extended family.
Children need special care and attention
Being part of a blended family doesn’t necessarily mean that the child’s school and education have to suffer the consequences of the family issues. Children are delicate and need our special care and attention especially in the case of blended families where the children are more vulnerable to get affected due to the transition phase of the family.
This effect on children, their education, character and schooling can be minimized by taking some key steps in their favor.
- Listen to them – Children need attention and giving them proper time and listening to their small issues may get them feel secure and a sense of being owned by someone dearer.
- Give them time & priority – everything needs time and so does this phase of new family blending, so the children need more time than an adult to go through this phase of transition and change.
- Setting schedules – Setting schedules to help the child manage his/her school work and important tasks in accordance with the timelines set by the school timetable.
- Meet their teachers – Meeting teachers of the children regularly and attending the scheduled parent-teacher meetings will help you coordinate with teachers and check the progress of the children at their school and performance in their class.
- Engage children in co and extracurricular activities – Help children engage in healthy curricular and extracurricular activities at school by coordinating with their teachers and continue this practice at home also so that they find enough time to relax and have fun.
Children are our future and foremost asset and they have every right to good schooling, healthy life, fun and entertainment. Any marital or social affair of either or both of their biological or step parents should not hinder their growth or restrict any of their basic rights to life.