Stepfamily Living – Part 2

Session 12 | Episode 2

Today I will address some of the complexities that exist in stepfamilies and future podcasts will address solutions.

Complexities

One of the complexities of stepfamily living is the number of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even stepsiblings that a child now has in their life.  These numbers will vary depending on how many times their parents have been married.

If children are being brought into the family from both parents, then at least one child is going to lose their position as first born.  Other children must fit into a different birth order structure as well and something as ‘simple’ as a new birth order can create tension and conflict.

At least one of the families in the new relationship will have to move houses, or even towns.  This means children may have to leave their friends and support network behind and they may have to adjust to a new school.  Children usually face different routines and rules when they move between homes. 

One of the complexities of stepfamily living is the number of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even stepsiblings that a child now has in their life.

One of the complexities of stepfamily living is the number of parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and even stepsiblings that a child now has in their life.

Biological parents lose control over what their children are exposed to in the other home.  There may be bullying from stepsiblings, or even rejection from the stepparent and not being treated as an equal with the stepparent’s biological children.  There is a lot more coordination that is required regarding schedules of the children.  There can be hostile communication with an ex-spouse and sometimes the child is used as a pawn to get revenge on a biological parent. 

We mostly focus on families with young children in the home, but even when children are adults, living independently, stepfamilies have challenges.  I will share two personal stories in a future podcast.

This all sounds rather bleak, but there is hope.  Just being aware that these complexities exist can help parents to be proactive and plan to minimise the difficulties. 

Our next podcast will start to address solutions to the complexities that exist.

Presented by

Patty Borgert

Patty Borgert

Patty has a degree in Family Studies from New Mexico State University in the US. She has lived in Africa for 45 years and has worked in Eswatini, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She and her husband, Ken, have been married for thirty-five years and have two children. They have been working with FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, for thirty-four years.

Patty Borgert

Patty Borgert

Patty has a degree in Family Studies from New Mexico State University in the US. She has lived in Africa for 45 years and has worked in Eswatini, Zimbabwe and South Africa. She and her husband, Ken, have been married for thirty-five years and have two children. They have been working with FamilyLife, a ministry of Campus Crusade for Christ, for thirty-four years.

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