Second Marriages and Step Families: Marriage Tips and Common Marriage Problem
In the United States, second marriages are common. Statistics show that 75% of those who divorce eventually marry again. About 20% of all American families are step families.
Researchers re-categorized step families into two types. One is simple step families which include children from one parent, and complex step families which include children from both parents. Research indicates that the more complex blended family structures are, the more difficulties and challenges they face.
1. Step children are different from biological children.
Even if how you raised your own children worked, it does not guarantee that the same techniques will work for step children.
2. Step parents can be a consultant, but they are not biological parents.
It will take time to bond and develop relationships with step children. If you are a step parent, you can start with being a consultant for your partner who is in charge of parenting her/his own children.
3. Increasing positive encounters with step children.
It is important to focus on building a trust relationship through non-threatening fun activities. Show interests in their hobbies.
4. Avoid power struggles.
You may want to gain authority over step children. Are you upset that they are not listening to you and/or do you feel that they are rejecting you? You are focusing on yourself, and power struggles kick in.
5. Rush into a new relationship?
Are you rushing into a marriage? Have you discussed problems/issues you and your partner may face and how to deal with them? You may want to justify the relationship, but it is very important to be logical and prepare for the new life with step families. Do not let your emotions take over.
6. Have couples and family meetings.
It is important to set clear boundaries, rules, and consequences. Always welcome concerns from other family members and discuss them in a constructive way. You and your partner should be on the same page regarding family rules and parenting.