Blended Families

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During the first months or even years of a newly married couple’s relationship they spend their time reestablishing their relationship. Couples who have children may then decide to marry or remarry. These couples skip right over the reestablishment phase and go right into the family phase. How do couples who have children from a previous relationship or marriage adapt to this change? In order to have a balanced home, couples need to establish a nurturing environment for the children to grow. This will enable the children to show affection, to have trust in each family member, and to feel safe in the home. Dynamics of a Blended Family

A blended family is when one or both members of the marriage have children from a previous relationship or marriage. Some families have a biological mother with children who marries and her spouse becomes a stepfather. The biological father may have children from a previous marriage, who then marries and his spouse becomes a stepmother. Both the mother and father can have children out of a previous relationship or marriage. These different family dynamics are becoming more and more typical for this day and time.

At least one-third of all children in the U.S. will be part of a stepfamily before they reach the age of 18. The biological parents have legal rights. The stepparents have no legally recognized right over the stepchildren. If the biological parent, who is legally recognized as the non-custodial parent, of the child agrees to let the stepparent to legally adopt the child. Then the stepparent can adopt the child and have legally rights to the child. There are seven distinct stages of development of a family. The Early, Middle, and Late stages (Patricia Papernow). The early stages consist of the Fantasy, Immersion, and Awareness stage. The Fantasy stage is when the parent and children of the families are stuck in the fantasy of how their family is supposed to be. The family begins to...
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