Blended Families and Bitter Parents

A blended family is created when parents with children from prior relationships start a new relationship then eventually begin living together. The process of blending both families is hard for everyone involved. The blended parents are learning to adjust to having more children to look after, and the blended children are adjusting to new routines and being forced to share their things that were once only shared with their natural parent and siblings.

An added set of challenges can arise when a non-blending parent does not support the new blended arrangement. The children may confide in the non-blending parent hurt feelings and other various challenges that arise during the process. When children make these disclosures, it quickly reveals the character of the non-blending parent.

A good parent will use the children’s disclosures as an opportunity to teach healthy coping skills and empathy. A good parent will do everything possible to reduce the harm and encourage the children to succeed in both households.

A bitter parent will use the children’s complaints as an opportunity to attempt to strain the children’s relationship with the other parent, the new parent and the new siblings. A bitter parent will use the complaints as “proof” that the other parent is a bad parent and will try and jam a wedge between the children and blended family.

A bitter parent will speak negatively of the new family members and will take steps to deliberately prevent the children from forming a strong bond with new family members. A bitter parent may attempt to achieve this by providing more love and attention to the child for complaining about the new family arrangements. A bitter parent may also refuse to allow the children to invite their blended siblings to birthday parties and may withhold the children to stop them from attending their blended siblings birthday parties, even if they were scheduled during the other parents time. A bitter parent will always find a way to create conflict on every special occasion.

A bitter parent is a toxic parent. A bitter parent wants their children to hate the same people as them. A bitter parent is unable to set their feelings aside and do what is best for the children. A bitter parent will act in ways that are very harmful to the children. The children may act out towards the new blended parent in their honour and children may feel their resentment towards new siblings is justified because their other parent encourages it. The children may feel guilty for liking the new blended family. A bitter parent can be the hardest part of becoming a blended family. Unfortunately, the actions of the bitter parent will be an ongoing issue and innocent children are the victims. If you are in a similar situation, do not be afraid to reach out for assistance to help your family.

Edmonton Family Network has connections to legal service providers and community support services. We help people discover great options for their situation. Email us to learn more.

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