Combining two families into a unit is no easy task. The idea of hosing two families within one common home brings with it a lot of stress-inducing newnesses. There are stepchildren, new rules, crazy demands, new traditions, and a bunch of weird things you’ll all have to get used to. You’ll face a lot of challenges as a blended family, but still, creating a loving home is totally doable. Here’s how to make a blended family work:
Tips to help make a blended family work
Acknowledge the challenge
Combining two families into one as you co-parent with your new partner is no easy feat. It will take a lot of work to figure out things like finances, discipline, childcare, and a few other issues. One of the first approaches you need to take to make a blended family work is to accept that it is going to be an uphill climb at first. But with the right mindset, it’s totally doable.
Have a plan
Some topic will need to be addressed when you merge two families. These include:
- What role each parent will play in the development and facilitation of any or all kids
- Who will be the primary caregiver of the kids?
- What are your expectations for spending time together as a couple, without the kids?
- How will you structure access of grandparents and other family members where the kids are concerned?
- What are your long-term goals for the relationship and how will you tackle finances?
Put yourself in your kids’ shoes
Your kids and stepkids are all passengers on the train that you and your partner created when you decided to merge two families. They didn’t choose this life, and they need help to adapt to the changes happening all around them on a daily basis. Be sure too frequently talk to the kids about what they’re experiencing. Open and free communication is the key to a successful transition for the kids.
Get specific about your needs
Your partner needs to know what you expect from him, and vice versa. If you need to be treated better, speak up. If you want the kids to act differently, open up your mouth and get it out there. You need to articulate your needs and give your partner suggestions on how these needs can be met. Your partner can’t read your mind, and if you need certain aspects of the family dynamic to change, it’s your responsibility to say something about it.