How To Resolve Conflict in Blended Families

By Subodh / April 6, 2015

Relationships are beautiful when handled with maturity and good thinking. In blended families, enjoying happy relationships may seem bit like a tightrope at first with its many challenges, but with proven ways to resolve conflicts, these relationships can change into happy fruitful ones.

Conflicts are natural in a scenario where there are biological and non-biological parents present and it can get tricky with different parenting styles. Disagreements and conflicts are bound to occur. However, with the following strategies, it will be possible to turn troublesome relationships into rewarding ones and stop the issues from spiraling out of control.

Blended Family

Objectives and intentions need to be clear

In all relationships, intentions need to be clear and communicated and this is especially so in blended families. For instance, in blended families, one partner may not be keen to have step children while the other may come with the intention of building a family. Opposing intentions and expectations can give room for more conflict. If there is a problem communicating with your partner or mate about intentions and goals, then seeking the help of a therapist is a good idea.

It is all about how you manage expectations

In a blended family, just like all families, it is all about the expectations of each member. For instance, your spouse or partner may come with expectations which may not seem realistic to you. Children from either side may have some expectations or you could be expecting them to respond in a prescribed manner, which they may not. When expectations are not met, it can lead to a lot of negative feelings. It is crucial to understand each one’s expectations first, analyse whether it is realistic or not and even discuss it in a fair manner so that everybody is in the picture.

It is important to respect each other and exercise some form of control over the way we respond or react. Teaching kids to be respectful requires a lot of patience and firmness, but once the message is sent across, kids respond to discipline and rules in a positive way, especially when they know there is no choice but to toe the line.

Address negative feelings, hurt and anger in a positive way

In the process of forging bonds and coming together, there are many challenges that blended families face. Blended families do have an emotional baggage to contend with among other things so it is important to allow enough time and patience for adjustment. Everybody is entitled to their feelings and it is important to acknowledge people’s feelings in relationships.

Children in blended families do come in with their insecurities and emotional problems. These issues cannot be wished away. Children need extra care and assistance to accept step parents. Sometimes interference from the outside bio-parent can also cause problems. These can be addressed with proper communication without affecting the relationship between the outside biological parent and the child.

Communication is paramount in all relationships especially so in blended families

What one partner may hold as a sacred belief may not figure in the scheme of things of the other partner. Two different sets of discipline, values and beliefs can be a ground for conflict between family members. These matters about values and beliefs need to be discussed in detail between partners before they become a conflict. Important issues like setting rules for children and having a standard is important to be on the same wavelength as a way to avoid conflicts.

It may not seem very simple and easy at first to meet the demands of a blended family. Yet, it is possible with patience, time, effective communication and transparency in the relationship and a genuine sincerity to make it work. The whole experience will be a rewarding one!