The Truth About Blended Families

Annie Spratt
Annie Spratt

Grownups are idiots. We should know because we’re quite rapidly becoming ‘one of them’ and unlike the olden days when most individuals moved out of their parents homes at the age of 18, our generation seems to have a love affair with leaving our parental homes in our mid twenties. That, coupled with the rising divorce rates means we have a higher chance of finding ourselves in a blended family with a step parent and step siblings.

So what exactly is expected from the children’s point of view in this new development?

No matter how great the family dynamics are, as soon as it comes down to it each member sticks to their own.

When the first major family conflict occurs, the true colors of where loyalties lie are shown. Suddenly, the family that seemed all loving and incredibly inseparable becomes a fun-size cold war replica. With the superpowers (the parents) solidifying their ideologies onto their allied nations (their biological children) all while attempting to uphold their pretentious diplomatic dealings with each other.

Life is always compared to ‘how it was before.’

With your original family, life was just how it was. That’s all you knew about family life and how home should be, but now that you have a new family – you start to compare every little detail, both consciously and subconsciously to how it was with your original family. Though it must be said, these details aren’t reserved solely for negative observations; there are positive changes that come from a new family too, and these will not escape scrutiny either.

Attempts to discipline the new children will never be smooth.

The new mom or the new dad will never successfully implement forms of punishment upon the new children; in a typically unspoken rule, each parent takes up the responsibility of disciplining their own children because the blow back from trying to punish the new kids is quite frankly terrifying to them. Terrifying as they are afraid of rejection or conflict from their spouse over the matter. And of course it’s terrifying because the average age of children in blended families are the dreaded teenage years. Nobody wants to be told off by an acne plagued mini-bigperson that they aren’t their real parent anyway.

Siblings become closer.

An almost siege mentality begins to form amongst siblings. You realize just how much you trust this person who shared a birth canal with you, and you love them more because they know who you truly are and have your back in spite of that.

Life is appreciated more.
You begin to cherish life more as it currently stands because you, more than those ‘normal family’ people, know now just how fickle it is. It can be uprooted and changed into something you never dared to imagine in no time and so you learn to appreciate the moment. TC mark

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