In simplest terms, a blended family is a new adult partnership that unites two existing families. It is a beautiful union, but it comes with its share of difficulties and challenges. However, this should not discourage you from starting your own blended family. There are some significant changes that must be made, and children may find it challenging to adjust. But, if you remember a few things as your family starts this new chapter of life, you can be blended and blessed.
1. Introduction Is The Key
You've probably heard that the best impression is the first one. Introducing your kids to your new partner is a significant milestone in your relationship and for your family. You shouldn't dive right in because it's an important step; take it slowly instead. When you are certain that your partner will be a constant in your life and your children's lives, you can introduce them gradually. Although it may seem frightening, it is not that challenging. Establish a schedule for their meeting and the location of the introduction. A little structure and a neutral place may make this meeting more comfortable for all parties involved.
2. Spend Quality Time With Kids
Children may believe you are not spending enough time with them when a small family is transformed into a large blended family, and this can crucial for the kids of both you and your partner. Spend time with your children, spend time with your partner's children, and spend time with each other. These are the three things you need to strive to balance. Children will feel special and not lost as a member of a larger group if you do this. If everything seems overwhelming to you and you are concerned about how you will manage it, don't stress. You don't need to spend a lot of time.
For instance, if the children are little, you could read them bedtime stories. If they are older, you could take the girls to get a pedicure. If they are boys, try a nerf gun war at the park (sometimes girls love this too). You will benefit from this in two ways. The first is that your partner's children can connect with you, and at the same time your kids won't feel away from you.
Kids do care, no matter how much they may act like they don't care. One thing matters most to children: Do you care about them? Therefore, you must gain their trust. It might take weeks, months, or even years. Knowing what they require from you is vital for your relationship. And how can you do that? Take time to talk to them!
3. Don't Have Too High Expectations
Do not look at this negatively, because if you already have high expectations and things do not work out the way you planned, then, in the end, you will be disappointed. Remember that this is a gradual process; it will take some time for two families to live together. You shouldn't anticipate that either your partner's children or your own will immediately fall in love with the other parent.
You must realize that in a blended family, it takes time for kids to adjust when a parent remarries. They could have to switch schools, part ways with pals, move to a new house or town etc., and big changes like this can cause a ton of anxiety for all involved. Their friends, who made up their support system, might be too far distant to visit as frequently. All of these changes that have drastically altered your children's lives require time to adjust.
4. Always Show A United Front
When you co parent in this type of situation, the dynamics shift when two separate families decide to come together as one. First, your parenting styles and possible methods for raising the children may differ from those of your partner. To be blended and blessed, you must present a unified front when dealing with blended families. If you disagree on some terms, you can sit down and talk about it. In any relationship, communication and empathy are essential components. You must meet in the center and negotiate and settle on some terms.
Your partner is now a parent to your children, and vice versa, so they have a voice in the crucial issues. These examples include the need for you to respect each other's duties. As the new parent in the situation, you can not expect to handle discipline with your spouse’s children. Let them take that role while you step back. At this point it is just your job to support your spouse. Together, set those ground rules before any discipline takes place, and then stick to them. Mixed messages are one of the key issues that stresses children in blended families.
5. Help Kids to Bond but Do NOT Force Them
Blended family means the introduction of new family members and step-siblings too. Sibling conflict in a blended family can reach new heights if you're not careful to intervene before it gets out of hand. Spending time with new family members, kids playing together, etc., can be enjoyable at first when your families have recently moved in together. However, when children do not know their step-siblings well, they may not enjoy sharing a room with them.
This can result in a rivalry, and occasionally they may want to fight. If this occurs, children need encouragement and confidence. Getting used to a new family might be difficult for kids, which is understandable. First, remember that you shouldn't pressure kids to fit in. You should continue your old customs with your children. They will feel better once they realize they are not losing you to their new step-siblings. It helps to schedule times for all the kids to be together, take them to the movies, etc. Try to spend time as a family, and still make sure you are making time for your kids to have alone time with you. For the most part, eventually, kids will blend in, but it will take time for most to do this.
In the end, managing a blended family requires patience and cooperation. Starting a new chapter in life is beautiful; everyone deserves to live happily. To integrate family standards, expectations, and disciplining techniques, you and your partner have to collaborate and work as a team. Children also need time to get used to new family members and develop relationships with them. So, remember that time and patience are necessary for this process; so be patient and if things seem hard, take a deep breath; you will be fine.