Each family has its unique history, traditions, culture, and value systems (Delano 2010). When families “blend”, things at times cannot progress as smoothly as planned. Some children may resist change, while parents become frustrated when the new family doesn’t function like they hoped. Change within the family structure requires time and lots of patience to be able to function appropriately as a new family. Family structure refers to family composition, including roles and relationships, how they develop overtime as they accommodate each other (Delano 2010).
There are a few concepts that can make a family work, first, communication is a very important factor; holding family meetings and including everyone in the decision making can make every individual feel like they are part of the process and they will be less anxious about the unknown. Second, consistency, not only are families merging, but rules, discipline styles and communication tactics are also coming together.
It is very important for the adults to come to agreements on how to handle each situation and treat very individual the same, this will make the transitioning phase much easier for everyone. Third, make the children feel safe, children are often filled with uncertainty, mistrust, and fear, Reassure them often and don’t make many demanding changes at once. Fourth, Set limits and boundaries, things are new, uncertain, and emotional. Parents need to be clear of their expectations for behavior, discipline and rules, applying them to all of the children to keep things in order.
The children may not respect or appreciate a new authority in heir life right away, but in time, with persistence and patience, they can learn to be respectful. And lastly, respect, should be given to one another at all times. The examples listed are just a few that I believe will help a “blended” family work well together, and with time relationships among the families will hopefully grow strong and trustworthy after getting to know each other’s values and beliefs.