It is now pretty common to see two people, with children from a previous marriage, remarry, and blending families with children has become the norm. However, even though blending families with children is very common, it is not very easy. Many blended families face a barrage of difficulties and issues that are not usually encountered in a traditional family. Because of the strain these problems can put on the marriage, most blended families end in divorce within five years of being together.
Although the statistics look grim, there are families who have stayed together and that are thriving as a blended family unit. Blending step families is difficult, but completely doable if families use the right strategies. If you are thinking of blending families by marrying someone who already has children, here are a few pointers that can make the process easier and, hopefully, successful:
TALK to all the kids beforehand and let them know that you are thinking about remarrying. Let them know why you want to get married and let them voice any concerns or worries they may have. This will help you all to understand each other better. Good communication is the most essential factor that will help you to work out any issues now, and in the future.
DON’T pressure your children into liking your new spouse and their new stepsibling right away. You may think that you are helping them to get along by forcing them into situations where they must interact with the new members of the family. But, in reality you could just be causing awkward situations and leading to resentment. It is better to give things time and allow the familial bonds to develop naturally.
COMMUNICATE with your spouse about how you are going to handle discipline and the raising of your collective brood. You should be on the same page as far as parenting and if you have any disagreements, it is very important that you both discuss it privately.
ASK for help. You don’t need to feel like you have to face all the challenges alone. There is help for blended families, and whether you decide to go to a family therapist, or just search online for solutions to your problems, it is important to seek this help if you feel that the situation is getting out of your control.
Blending families with children can be one of the toughest challenges