Many families in today’s society are made up of families that come from divorced families. This can create some interesting problems. The problems are magnified when there are children involved. Some families not only have yours, mine, and ours, but a few others also. This can happen when two people have a child together outside of marriage. This child, usually abandoned by the father assumes the last name of the mother. This creates a situation where there are several children in a home all with different last names. The parents may not understand the difficulty this can create for their children.
The term blended family may be a little deceiving, as many of these families struggle getting along. To say they are blended is optimistic. With a variety of children from different parents try to adapt to each other under the guidance of a new parent they have just recently met, things can become a little strained.
Religion and Divorce
To add fuel to the fire created by combining children and parents from several different family situations, there may be a difference in religion to consider. The majority of the people in the United States today proclaim that they are Christians. To be a Christian however doesn’t necessarily mean that a new families philosophies will all line up. There are a lot of Christian religions, and their contrasts can be very pronounced. One of the new parents in a marriage may be willing to convert or switch to a new faith, but their children may not be so interested in changing. Children in divorced families will still be spending time with “the other” parent regularly, usually on weekends. These are concerns that should all be addressed prior to entering into another marital situation. When a family has deep religious convictions decisions about religion should be made prior to bringing two families together.
Other concerns to sort out include where the children will go to school and where they will live. Moving a child is a very difficult thing for the child. When they are uprooted and enrolled in a new school they will have adjustments to make. They will also need to make new friends in the neighborhood where they live. These may seem like small things, but to a child they can be very frightening. There is also the new parent they will be under the direction of, or will they? What do they call the new parent? Does the new parent have any right to correct the child or tell them what to do? Again these are topics that should be discussed prior to combining two families. For example, let’s say a teen age boy goes with his mom and has a new step dad. Lets also assume he is struggling in school. Biological dad may not be near by, and the teen has stopped listening to his mom. Who then, becomes the authoritarian in this young man’s life? Who does this teen look up to? With dad out of the picture who becomes his male role model? Many of the students enrolled in troubled teen boarding schools, and boot camps come from blended and mixed families. The teens are frustrated, angry, and unclear as to why their family is such a wreck.