Families have their good and bad times. Family is characterized by rewards and challenges. The same thing happens in stepfamilies.
Integrating a stepfamily is not easy. In some cases parents have a good time when they are together. Everything is perfect but when the children are back in the picture the situation is not as glamorous. 30% of weddings in the US form stepfamilies nowadays.
It may be as a result of the previous couple divorcing or the death of a spouse. A person may also have a child out-of-wedlock and after marrying the same will apply. In all cases children are involved and when either party decides to remarry a stepfamily is formed. Stepfamilies experience their fair share of challenges and rewards just like other families. The positive aspect is that these things eventually lead to tremendous rewards if the people involved do not look back.
There are six important steps that will make your journey manageable. You should step up with an aim of discovering a God who loves and forgives people in stepfamilies. None of the families in the Old Testament were perfect. Stepfamilies are not always as a result of sinful behavior. The family is good even though it does not match God’s design for an ideal home.
Do not have high expectations your stepfamily will integrate quickly. You should be patient. The process of building the family takes time. According to statistics an average stepfamily takes around seven years to form or establish a family identity. Pressure from parents does more harm than good.
Biological parents have to balance their energy and time to the marriage and children. At the same time it is crucial that they communicate to the children that the marriage is unbreakable. Children may be threatened at first but eventually they will accept it.
Parents have to support each other. A stepparent has to occasionally borrow power from a biological parent. The latter should show respect to the former and support him or her in parenting decisions. Children will in the long run come to respect the stepparent.
Things cannot change immediately. Children need to be given time to adjust. You should be ready to carry and honor any traditions they have from the past as you make others that are unique to your family. The last step involves being determined and trusting each other. The fruits of you effort will finally be reaped at the end of the journey of uniting a stepfamily.
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