One of the first steps in blending your family successfully, is understanding step families as a whole.
Did you know? “One of three Americans is now a stepparent, a stepchild, a stepsibling, or some other member of a stepfamily. ” – Larson, J. (1992), Understanding stepfamilies, American Demographics 14, 360.
Isn’t that incredible? And that was in 1992, can you imagine fifteen years later what it is looking like? The statistics are growing with the times.
On a personal level, I feel that understanding step families goes far beyond the family dynamics, but also focusing on how society views step families, and how blending a step family is a process.
There are many myths floating around about the average step or blended family.
- Children from these families are more likely to manifest social, emotional or behavioral problems.
- Step Parents (Step Mothers in particular), are wicked, evil or horrible.
- The past is the past.
- The biological parent will always love their own children more than any step children.
- Favoritism is common in step families.
- There is always loads of competition between step siblings.
Looking for more myths? Look here.
While there are dozens of other myths, these that I have listed, are the most common that I have heard. But they aren’t always true. Now let’s look at the truths that surround step families and blended families.
- Blending a family takes a lot of work and is an ongoing process. It will not happen overnight.
- Even the blended family that seems to blend rather well, will have problems and conflicts that will arise from time to time.
- Patience, love and persistance are the three most important resources to have when trying to blend your step family.
- A united front between parents, seems to be the most successful way to blend a family.
- Each family member matters in a blended or step family.
There are even more truths too. And I can give you hundreds, but many of them will depend on your own family and what is going on in your dynamics.