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Conclusion of the blended family article.  Ways to reduce and manage these problems. You'll find frank discussion, definitions, explanations, resources and many related pages to help children and families.

Continued from Blended Family Problems

3.  People who are attracted to you may also become attracted to your adolescent child.  Children of divorce are already beaten down psychologically because, secretly, they often blame themselves for the divorce.  These kids are often easy prey because they crave the approval of an adult...especially one of the opposite sex.  Enter the new parent!  Any parent may be attracted to their adolescent children, and the kid to the parent.  In normal parenting situations, the fact of being their own blood helps prevent sexual abuse.  This taboo is gone in blended families, making the attraction more difficult to resist for both parties.  Add alcohol or drugs to the situation and it gets very dangerous.  When I was at the table with a woman I was dating, her 12-year-old daughter came in and flashed open her bathrobe to show me her brand new pubic hair.  Even if her behavior was not meant to be sexually provocative, it caused me to be especially fearful (of my own thoughts) and eventually end the dating relationship with her mother.  Don't allow such situations to arise.  You and your spouse should understand that some attraction is normal, discuss this attraction, and take actions to see to it the attraction doesn't get combined with opportunity.  If your spouse is unwilling to discuss this, be extra cautious.  Assuming no history of homosexuality or pedophilia, adults of the same sex as the child or both parents should assist kids 9 or older with their bath, dressing or bedtime needs. Learn ways to affirm a child that can't be misunderstood (shoulder hug rather than full body, etc.)  If one adult is particularly tempted, they should see to it they are never alone with the child.  It's just safer to have a firewall even if there is little risk of a fire.  If you suspect something may already be going on, visit Signs Of Child Molestation and keep a close eye. 

4.  Blended kids tend to be bullies and victims.  Children of divorce have learned all the wrong conflict resolution techniques.  They know from your previous examples, when there is a disagreement, the one with the most power will win and the other one will be hurt.  If the new family situation gives one child more power, they will use it mercilessly.  I witnessed one home where a 13-year-old-boy ruled even the parents.  His father was codependent and could not say no.  His wife couldn't say no to him and her daughter was the victim of all of them.  When the victim see's no other way to peace, they will literally do anything the bully asks.  This was the relationship of my older brother and I as latchkey kids.  Go back to item number one above for the best way to deal with this.  You may have no favorites or you will establish a painful and abusive pecking order that causes strife and division as the rule of the day in your house.  Watch for bullies in your family and control them appropriately.

5.  One couple I counseled was shocked to discover their children having sex with each other.  It seemed to elude the parents that their kids might be as attracted to each other as they were.  So, they frequently left the kids home alone together.  I may shock you with this, but it isn't unusual for full brothers and sisters in dysfunctional families to develop incestuous relationships...even more so, unrelated kids from 2 different dysfunctional families.  Keep them apart when you're not around and keep an eye on them when you are.  In blended families, it is a very good idea to have a baby-sitter for teenagers, not to watch babies, but to prevent them.

If you're blending families, you need all the help you can get from man and from God.  You are trying a noble and admirable thing.  Enter the battle with every weapon at your disposal.  This includes wisdom and help from God.  He will honor your effort and help you do this if you want.  If you want His help just click on God's Help.

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