ah, yes, so you’re one of those couples that has a blended family. You have your three girls, and he has his three boys.
Together with your maid and your dog, Tiger, you’re ready to conquer any problem that comes your way… Oh, wait, that’s the Brady Bunch. You and your family probably don’t act like that loveable sitcom family, but can you and your blended family make it work as Mike and Carol did? Okay, enough Brady Bunch talk, let’s dive deep into making YOUR blended family work.
When it comes to making a blended family work, you need to think about the sociology that is involved with the two separate families. Since blended families are two people coming together who have children with other people, you have to consider the different parenting styles each parent may have.
For example, if you’re a divorced mother of a 10-year-old son, your ex-husband might have a different set of ground rules compared to you and your new husband. In this case, your son might not like a set rule of yours, in favor of their father’s rule. This can lead to tension between you and your kid, which is always best to avoid. This is just one example of the problems that may arise in a blended family.
Stress can be a big factor in a blended family. Visitation issues may occur, and conflict between both the step-parents and parents may arise.
Continuing off of the previous example, if that same 10-year-old son continues to watch his mother and father argue and fight with each other, this can add extra stress on the child, and even could lead them to choose one parent’s side over the others.
Additionally, it is not uncommon for children to hold anger towards their step-parent, as they are not their “real” parent.
According to an article published by Good Therapy, 66% of second marriages that involve children from previous marriages end in divorce… OUCH. I know what I’ve said probably has you worried as a person in a newly blended family, but don’t worry; I’m going to explain to you why a blended family is great and how you can make it work.
Communication is the key
You and your entire family should sit down and discuss what the rules will be in the home. Make sure all of your children know that the rules apply the same to each of them. You should also talk to your children and let them tell you their thoughts about being in a new blended family. Don’t ignore them just because of their age.
It may seem simple, but yes, talk it out.
Build that family bond, one brick at a time
When you come together as a new blended family, everything is different. Family traditions your children were used to will either change or no longer exist.
For example, if prior to the blending of the families, every Wednesday your family played board games but your partner’s family watched new episodes of their favorite TV show. Now, with your new blended family, one side’s Wednesday routine will need to change to accommodate the merge. A change like this that disrupts a child’s routine can lead to depression and cause them to become more distant from you.
Now, you might not want to copy a tradition your family had prior to the merge, but starting a new tradition can do wonders for helping your new blended family bond.
If you played board games and your partner’s family watched TV every Wednesday evening in your previous marriages, your blended family could now have movie night every Saturday. Or you could start something completely new, like take time during dinner each night to go around and have everyone give their best and worst part of the day. Not only will this help establish a new routine, this exercise can also help bond everyone on an emotional level.
Make it fun, this is an easy way to help your new blended family become closer.
Don’t forget the kids
It sounds like a simple thing not to do, but sometimes when your blended family gets together, your attention to your biological kids might get pushed to the back, even just a little.
Yes, of course, you want to focus on your loved one’s children, and your loved one as well.
However, you need to make sure that you give your biological children the same attention they received before you started this relationship.
Step into a relationship
As a new step-parent, it’s important to build a relationship with your step-child. You want to show them that while you won’t and don’t want to replace their biological parent, you will still do anything to be there for them. One thing you could do is set aside some time alone with your step-child. Ask them what hobbies they like and go out and do that with them.
This can certainly help build your relationship.
All you need is love
At the end of the day, love will conquer all, as they say. If you put in the effort and give love, then your family will be just fine…
As you may have noticed, I said your family, not your blended family. That’s because it doesn’t matter if you have a child or children of your own and your significant other also has a child or a few children of their own, you’re a family, and no label can change that.
Get to know: Titan Frey
Hello there! My name is Titan. I am a Screenwriter, author, video game writer, freelance writer, copywriting intern at Official. Feel free to learn more about me via Linkedin.