Make Two Families Blend Together Easier

Step families and blended families are popular. Make the transition easier for all involved.

When two families merge and create one, everyone needs to adjust, give and take, and, most of all, be patient.

When I remarried seven years ago, I felt very fortunate. My three children and two soon-to-be stepchildren all got along. Despite the ten-year age span everyone was comfortable with, understanding and considerate of each other.

Unfortunately not all step-families have this experience. It’s what I refer to as the “Cinderella Effect”. With visions of wicked stepmothers and evil stepsisters, this is how, as a child myself, I had envisioned step-families.

Nowadays the traditional nuclear family is the minority. Step-families, single parent households and, more often than decades ago, grandparents who are repeating parenting roles, are more common.

When you put two families together, here are some important rules to remember and consider. I followed all of these and maybe that’s why my step-family has clicked.

Don’t Push

Don’t expect all kids to get along immediately. Allow them time and space. The harder you try to get them to bond, the more they may resent it and retaliate.

Individual Quality Time

Don’t do everything together as a group, especially during the “honeymoon” period. Just as siblings (natural, half or step) need a break from one another, parents need to realize that individual time with their own children is important and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Each Child Has A Place

Combining two households also means blending two of everything. Living quarters will quickly become crowded and overstocked. Make sure that every child, full time residents and alternating weekend residents, have their own space. Whether it is a dresser, half of the closet area or a shelf in the bathroom linen closet. Simple acts of sharing go a long way.

Family Privacy Act

Once the kids have their drawer, shelf or own storage area, respect it and their property. When the non-custodial’s children come to visit, try and make sure that everything of theirs is where they left it. Remind full time children not to snoop. Privacy is important and invasion of that privacy is hard to forgive.

Rules For One and One Rule For All

Maintain and keep consistent with the kid’s rules. Set the rules for all children, with the childrens’ input, and make sure all children abide them. Devise a chore chart and stick to it. Make sure all children do their fair share. Keeping rules consistent should help prevent favoritism and animosity. Equal treatment should spread around. Fairness is easily seen and mutual respect evolves.

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  1. Full of good points, well written and obviously true life tested information.

  2. Full of good information. Blending families is not easy. I wish I had this luck with mine.
    Informative and personal.

  3. Good advice. Never thought about many of these ideas. Kids are their own person and parents need to remeber that.

  4. Great article with sound advice and good points to ponder. With Christmas right around the corner, the holiday tips are especially helpful. Author appears to have really accomplished harmony within her own family and sounds very qualified to share info regarding blended families.

  5. Great article very good advice. It is very important for all involved in a family to get along. Even though it isn’t going to happen like magic, but they all have their input in stuff. The authors family sounds like they have all bonded and that is what blended families are all about.

  6. How true this is…I agree on all of these. Life is difficult enough lately. Making life easier for all involved is very crucial.

  7. Wow, that’s some good advice. I hope many blended or soon-to-be blended families read this.

  8. Good information. No one is the Brady Bunch but this is as close as it could get. Too bad all families can’t do this. Everyone has their place and space within a family.

  9. When two different families become one, the thrill and the adventures are just too much. The unexpected, feeling of “what will happened net” is unavoidable. I am specking of two divorce people meeting one another. Knowing that with time more then a friendship is what they seek. But, how to bring in kids from both sides into that relationship? What to expect, how will they react, how will they feel? It is, and I speak from experience a big WOW. I divorced almost eight years ago. Have three beautiful children, fruit of that marriage. Most amazing gift God could of ever given me. A little over three years ago I met whom today is my fiance, my husband to be. Also divorced! Not with three but with five kids. Yeah, talking about WOW’s. and there and then started what I call the first day of the rest of our life.

    We were careful and wise I must say. Before we even thought of involving the kids we had dinner dates, movies, even a nice walk in the beach ones in a while. Spending time together and getting to know each other before making that big decision of bringing the kids into our relationship. I guess we both thought it through a lot. Then again, bringing someone new into the life of our kids was something that needed to be thought through because many things can happened, many feelings can arise. And over all and are goal and biggest priority were our kids and to make sure that our babies wer appy. Nothing less, nothing more.

    I see my family, well, our family as the Brady Bunch. It’s funny even thinking it, yet it’s true. Threw that out there so have an idea of what our life is. Difference is that my fiance’s children do not live with us, but they do spend every other weekend at home with us and whenever we feel like just picking them up because we miss them. I can’t say it is all perfect, but I can say that I wouldn’t have it any other day. We share our success, we lift each other up when one feels down. We laugh, we cry. But most important, we have each other. I feel honor to say that my kids not only have the best dad in the world, but now they have a friend. A man who has been there to respect them, acknowledge them and watch them grow letting them know that He is there every step of the way. And the same goes for his kids. They call me Mima, I just love it. I make them feel that I will never replace the wonderful mommy they have, but that I am also here to guide them and help them in any way I can. I think is fair to say that both our set of kids have “two parent’s”. All working together to make sure all our children are kept on track and on the right path. God has blessed us enormously, and me and my family are grateful for it everyday.

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