A New Home Gives Space to Blending Families

a new home gives spaceWhen two families join together through marriage, there are a number of issues that need to be sorted out so that everyone feels comfortable with the new family unit. One important item that needs to be settled prior to the wedding day is the question about where this new mixed family will live.

As we know from our own experiences, a house is more than just a physical shelter; it’s where we feel the most grounded and relaxed. It’s the place where we’re free to drop the masquerades we often wear out in the world. For children, home is a symbol for survival and nurturing. Their roots are there, their friends are there, and their favorite play spots are there. Moving can be a very emotional experience for children as they must say goodbye to the base that they’ve had all their life.

Though the process of relocating can be stressful for everyone, in a case where two families are merging into one, it’s a good idea for the parents to sell their previous dwellings and purchase a new house for the family to move into.

There are several reasons to buy a new house when blending families, including reducing arguments about territory. Children in stepfamilies can have a tough time adjusting to all the changes that are occurring such as having a new authority figure, new siblings, and the loss of their parent’s undivided attention. If they continue to live in their previous home, they will want to assert ownership over the space.

The resident children will naturally feel more entitled to the space and may have a hard time sharing with their new family. This is especially true of bedrooms, which can represent a child’s last remaining sanctuary during this time of upheaval. Trying to introduce a stepsibling into that space can cause resentment among both parties, which can damage burgeoning family relationships.

Territorial behavior isn’t just exhibited by children. Many parents that have been single for a while develop a strong sense of routine and independence. Adding a new person to the mix can lead to power struggles over everything from who holds the remote control to deciding on color schemes. The resulting tensions of these small battles can affect the children, who are struggling themselves to accept the household.

In addition, mixed families can be affected by emotional connections that the resident parent and children have with the property. There will be strong memories of life in the house before the dissolution of the original marriage. This emotional residue can inhibit and taint the new family dynamic.

By buying a new home for the two families to enjoy, you’re eliminating any sense of prior ownership. No one has a stronger connection with the property than anyone else; it’s a new space for everyone. Each member of the family will have to endure the stress of moving, but at least these feelings will be common among everyone, and not an ‘us versus them’ setup. In addition, buying a home is a powerful symbol of starting life together as a family. Moving can create strong bonds, especially as family members pitch-in to unpack belongings, decorate the space, and fill the house with happy memories.

 

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