CULTURE CLASH & CONFLICT IN STEP-FAMILIES

The merging together of two individuals also involves the coming together of two different cultures that will involve a difference of opinions and views to a certain extent.  If you have one partner that is against smacking and one partner that believes that the occasional smack when it is warranted is okay, you can have a problem.  If you have not discussed each others views on certain matters it could infact cause conflict.  The way you talk to the children will be different. One may be more of a disciplinarian than the other.  As long as you understand each other you will work things out before conflict can arise.  Having a difference of opinion can be on things as small as how often the step-children come over to visit.  Would it be every weekend or every other weekend?  What clothing do you feel is not acceptable to wear?  Are you for or against tattoos or piercing?  These may be minor things but if you both have different views on these small things, if you do not address them they can later escalate and cause problems. Even the way children talk can be acceptable to one parent and can be seen as rude to the other.  For example a child being called and answering ‘yeah’ may be rude to one partner.  They may want the children to answer in a more polite manner as in ‘yes mum or yes dad’.  These things as simple and as little as they may seem should not be taken for granted.

Conflict can also come about as a result of the children trying to play their parent against their step-parent simply because they have not yet accepted him or her. They will use their feelings, emotions and anything they can use to make the situation as unbearable as possible.  If this is not recognised the conflict could be a regular occurrence in the home.

 

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