You’ve found the one and tied the knot, but how do you know how to go about blending your family after a second marriage? This is simple for some, complicated for others and somewhere in the middle for most.
A blended family is a wonderful experience and can be a huge blessing to all involved, but it does take work. There are no perfect family dynamics, especially when bringing two existing families together.
However, it can be managed when you think things through and work together.
Tips For Blending Your Family After A Second Marriage
Define roles of both spouses. It can be tough to have a child in your home and under your supervision that you cannot feel comfortable being a parent to like you would your own. Both parties need to truly understand how they are to approach and handle situations with the children. While most blended families manage things like discipline with the biological parents at the head, there are times when a step-parent really does need to step in and make a decision. Sit down and make sure everyone understands their roles, when they can and should step up, and what the other outside the home parents feel about these things. It’s a juggle of respect, especially in early days and months. As long as everyone knows what is expected, things will go much more smoothly.
Don’t make children give up their personal space. This can be really hard if you have limited space in your home, but it is vital for a child to not feel like the new step-siblings are invading or taking over their space and home. Ideally, you would have a new home together that has ample space for everyone. Unfortunately, finances don’t always make that easily. Even if new siblings have to share bedrooms, you can do some things to give each of them more privacy and control of their own possessions. This may simply be about not requiring your children to share their favorite toys, etc. with the new sibling. Let this transition be something led by the children.
Don’t force relationships, let them happen naturally. Of course you want your kids to love each other, love their new step-parent and suddenly become the poster family for a perfect blended family. The reality is this is almost never possible right away. Don’t force relationships right away. Hopefully, you have already been building prior to the wedding, but there will still be some adjustments needing to be made. Be open, listen and accept that some things are going to be harder for you, your spouse and your children than normal.
Don’t talk poorly about the ex spouses in front of any of the children. This is a huge thing when you are trying to begin blending your family after a second marriage. How you speak about the ex-spouse will make a huge difference not only in how your children view you, but also about how your step-children view you. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.
Don’t make “weekend visits” a time to bribe children with things. All too often the parent that isn’t with the children during the week will make their weekend visits a time to over spend and spoil their child. Don’t set this precedent. Do fun things, spend time together and buy things as appropriate, but don’t make the weekend visits a time to go overboard to make up for the lack of contact during the week.
These tips for blending you family after a second marriage are going to help you to focus on a better and easier transition with your new family.