With the divorce rates so high, it’s no surprise that more kids than ever are experiencing the new transition of being a part of a blended family if one or both of their parents remarries. Blended families can be complicated to navigate, but there are ways to ensure that your children (and you) are a part of a happy home.
After a divorce, the transition into a blended family can cause conflict or discomfort. Your children may have trouble to adjusting to following the rules that their new stepparent puts forth or they might not be bonding right away with their new siblings. There are some tips you can follow in order to make this transition smooth and helpful for all involved to cope with these new, big changes.
Keep Your Children Involved
Remarriage and a transition into a new life is a big one, but don’t forget to include your child at all times where it is appropriate. If your new family is moving into a new home, leave room for your child to voice their opinions on their own living situations, such as their bedroom. If they are used to having their own room and all of a sudden now must share with their new sibling, you need to talk with them beforehand and have a long discussion about the new changes, always leaving plenty of room for them to voice their concerns. Take into consideration what they are saying and do what you can to reassure them that you will do your best to make it a smooth transition for them. Keep them up to date with everything new happening so there aren’t any surprises.
Patience is huge when it comes to something so new like this for your children. It is natural to want to see your children and your new stepchildren get along as quickly and as best as possible, but know that it will take time and don’t force it. Allow your children to feel out the situation themselves and go at their own pace when it comes to bonding with their new siblings. Discover any common interests that they all may have and try and organize activities they will all enjoy without forcing too much planning down their throats. Let them adjust at their own pace, even if it’s not fast enough for you.
Support Children Living in Two Separate Households
Doing the back-and-forth, parent-to-parent thing is difficult for children, and often they will be transitioning between two sets of stepparents and step siblings. This transition can be overwhelming, and as a parent it is your job to ease the stress. The night before your child leaves your house to go to the other house, talk to them about how they are feeling, if they need to pack anything for any special events coming up in the week, and anything else they may want to talk to you about before leaving for a few days. Your child may also feel like they will be missing out on any activities while they are gone, so it is important to assure them that they will have a great time when they leave.
Keep Biological Family Bonds Close
With so many new changes to their family and the addition of not only a new parent but likely new siblings as well, your child may start to feel somewhat disconnected from their other biological parent. Always be sure that your child has access to their parent if they need to talk or anything, and don’t make them feel like they can only now go to their stepparent for the needs that their biological parents are supposed to help fulfill.
For more information on co-parenting and helping your child transition into a new family life, contact the Glendale family law attorneys at The Sampair Group.