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Blended Families Essay

2860 words - 12 pages

Blended families
We try to create a world of structure and predictability for our children. As parents, we work hard to give our children routines, a regular schedule, consistent expectations, and plenty of love. We aim to make their lives predictable, stable, safe and secure. As they grow up, we hope that this early experience will be internalized as a kind of centeredness, and that they will be able to adapt when change comes around. In addition to providing children a safe and secure beginning, parent s need to be aware of the child’s feelings and be able to help them cope with change and stress. One in every two marriages in the United States will end up in divorce. Sixty percent of ...view middle of the document...

They may have endured a troubled, possible abusive marriage and or the painful death of a parent. In either case the family structure has been changed dramatically. In many cases, they will wonder if they are somehow to blame for events which have changed the family dynamic. Some children feel that they are unworthy of their parent's love.
Growing up to fast
Many children assume that they are responsible for the absence of their parent. Often, the child believes their misbehavior may have been the reason for the separation or divorce. The child's guilty feelings can be the reason behind some misbehavior. He may withdraw from activities with friends and family, he may even think things like, "How can anyone love me, my own parent didn't even love me?" Children may misbehave because they are angry with themselves. One method of helping the child deal with his or her feeling of guilt is, for adults (parents) to visit with the children right away. Discuss the changes and how they may affect everyday life, and provide them with non-judgmental information about what is happening in a straightforward way. Children often understand or see more than we realize. However; the child dosen ’t need to be involved in the messy side of the divorce or encouraged to pick sides. Talking ugly about the ex will only hurt and confusion to the child.
Adults often believe that "children are young and resilient so they'll bounce back." Children who have experienced death or divorce may go through a grieving period. A great family structure is essential for the children dealing with change. Although children are more flexible than adults, their adjustment to a new situation depends on their support system. For the stepparent to have a healthy relationship with their child, they must recognize and understand the child's feelings and what motivates the child's behavior.

Ordinarily, children have little or no choice in the matter of a divorce, nor do they have a choice in the events that follow. This felling of powerlessness is likely to interfere with their confidence and sense of security. Children, like adults, need to feel they have choice and control in their lives. The lack of, choice and control, can lead to problems in a multitude of different areas from behavior to emotional disorders.
The Defensive Parent
Parents naturally become defensive when their kids are threatened. When they feel their kids are being treated unfairly or picked on, they will come to their defense, sometimes even if the kids are clearly wrong. The parent knows the stepparent more than likely does not have the same feelings of parental love for their kids, so they want to protect them from injustice. They are unsure if the negativity of the stepparent comes from a genuine concern for the child, or from resentment for that child.
Stays out of issues the parent can handle. You may be getting bent out of shape for something your spouse feels is trivial. If he or she chooses not to...

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