Blended families and Indian Family system

Family is of huge importance in Indian society and it is dominant and vital in an individual’s life. So naturally, when people hear the word “divorce” they have a negative reaction to it. Though it’s not very common in India, sometimes marriages don’t work out and you’ll find couples going their separate ways. Statistics show that only 1% of marriages in India end in divorce. Many divorced couples have kids, but the single-parent family is not a new phenomenon in India. They could be widowed, divorced, or never married and they have to support and bring up their kids alone. Some of them meet new partners who could be single parents too and they wish to spend their life with them and form a blended family.

Image by Cherstva for 123RF

Indian family systems hold high regard for the families of the spouse, especially among women. Even during remarriage where men are given the option more often than women, they remarry a person who hasn’t married before. The concept of divided love among spouses’ children still seems a utopian concept. With changing lifestyles and patterns blended family is still an alien concept with traditional values glued to the system

A blended family is one where the parents have children from previous relationships but all the members come together as one unit. Though the concept of a blended family wasn’t widely accepted in India in the past, people are slowly understanding that every family is different in how it functions and so they are getting used to the idea of it. The upside of a blended family is that the kids will have both parents and the adults have the love and support of each other plus the family will be more financially stable.

But blended families sometimes tend to hurt the children, for example, it could reduce the attention that each child gets, because the attention that the child used to get from their parent is now divided between them, their step-siblings and new adult love. The new step-parent will also bring in a lot of change in their life like new traditions, culture, habits, and expectations, which is a lot to take in for a child. This does not mean that adults are faced with fewer challenges. They suddenly find themselves parenting unfamiliar and uncomfortable kids — kids that are related to the person they love. It takes a lot of effort and time to form a bond and it is built over repeated interactions and develops at its own pace. It can sometimes be frustrating and difficult. The adults have to be patient and understanding and they have to constantly support each other.

When every parent and step-parent puts the interests of each child first, there is a higher opportunity for success. Having two cooperative parents makes the situation work and helps create a stable and loving environment. After all, “family isn’t always blood, it’s the people in your life who want you in theirs; the ones who accept you for who you are. The ones who would do anything to see you smile and who love you no matter what.” (Maya Angelou)

Contributed by Glynisann Santiago content writer at Mitti Ke Rang

At Mitti Ke Rang, we started with a COVID-19 community support fundraising, as an emergency response to provide a safety net to families. This will help them survive in the lockdown period. We aim to directly support these families by providing a minimum wage, through transferring the same into their accounts or partner with local NGO, Organisation, Fellow, or a Volunteer, and support them with groceries.

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A social venture dedicated to empowering widows and single women to overcome poverty and dependency.