How to get a ‘blended family’ right

After a divorce the chances are that you could go on to meet a new person with whom you want to settle down. If you and this new flame both have children, you have the difficult task of trying to blend two families into one and it is not an easy task.

Everyone’s situation is different and it will depend on how often you have your own children and your new partner has theirs, along with their ages, but there are a few golden rules that you should follow to ensure peace and harmony for everyone concerned.

Take it slow

As a divorcee, you will be all too aware that mistakes can happen with love. You may have met your happily-ever-after, but there is no need to rush in to playing happy families. Take it as slow as you can, until you are both certain that the relationship will last a good length of time before trying to become one family. If the relationship really is going to last, then there is no rush.

Put your children first

Of course you will put your children first, but it is very easy to forget how different children are from adults. They get confused easily by adult situations and have a much lower ability to communicate what they are feeling, making it hard for adults to judge how they are really reacting to a change.

It is a big step for a child to accept a new family and if they offer their love and trust, then it can be very damaging to have people that they have come to rely on to be snatched away from them if the relationship fails.

Prepare for backlash from your ex

For a variety of reasons your ex may not be happy with your new family situation. Although jealousy and bitterness may be partly to blame, before you start with those accusations, ensure you show some empathy and communicate.

Your ex may not trust that your new relationship will last and want to protect the children from any hurt. Knowing that another person is going to have a big influence on the lives of your children will also take a lot of adjustment.

The best thing you can do is to communicate as much as possible and listen to concerns from your ex and try to address them.

Let your children know how much you love them

Your ex isn’t the only person who may suffer jealousy. Your children are likely to as well. If they see you parenting their new step siblings, they could become jealous. Ensure you and your new partner maintain separate parenting roles when you are first starting out. Keep the rules and behaviour standards the same, but don’t let your children think that you prefer the step children.

Prepare for the new adventure

Blended families come with a huge range of challenges that can sometimes seem impossible to overcome, but they will also bring great happiness and love, increasing the support network available to your children.

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