Blended families are not new and can be seen way back in the biblical days; in fact, even Jesus Christ was raised in a blended family. Navigating the blended family takes patience, grace, intentionality, and spousal unity. It is unreasonable to expect a child to initially respond to their new stepparent in a manner that is similar to that of the biological parent. While it is important that the child is respectful of their new stepparent, before the stepparent takes on a direct disciplinarian role, a secure relationship and attachment must first be developed with the child – and this takes time.
Since the child’s birth and up to their second year of life, the biological parent had been developing a secure attachment and relationship with their child. By the time the biological parent begins the discipline process, their child is secure in that parent’s love and care. And it is equally important for the stepparent to first develop a secure attachment with their stepchild. While navigating the process of a blended family, it is essential that the couple is intentional in spending quality time together in order to nurture and build their relationship. It takes time for a blended family to adjust and “gel” as a cohesive unit. Counseling can help the family better understand these dynamics and work together in creating a solid and healthy blended family.
“As the spouses begin their journey with their new families, the level of communication and grace given to one another will be instrumental in enhancing the level of success of their family. To ensure the success of any family it is essential that the Lord is the foundation. Psalm 127:1 says that unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it… You can rest assure that although it will not necessarily be easy, it will be well worth the effort and time.”