A blended family or stepfamily forms when you and your partner make a life together with the children from one or both of your previous relationships. The process of forming a new, blended family can be both a rewarding and challenging experience.
Here Are Few Blended Family Parenting Tips
· Too many changes at once can unsettle children. Blended families have the highest success rate if the couple waits two years or more after a divorce to remarry, instead of piling one drastic family change onto another.
· Find ways to experience “real life” together. Taking both sets of kids to a theme park every time you get together is a lot of fun, but it isn’t reflective of everyday life. Try to get the kids used to your partner and their children in daily life situations.
· Don’t allow ultimatums. Your kids or new partner may put you in a situation where you feel you have to choose between them. Remind them that you want both sets of people in your life.
· Insist on respect. You can’t insist on people liking each other, but you can insist that they treat one another with respect.
· Limit your expectations. You may give a lot of time, energy, love, and affection to your new partner’s kids that they will not return immediately. Think of it as making small investments that may one day yield a lot of interest.
· They are appreciated and encouraged. Children of all ages respond to praise and encouragement and like to feel appreciated.
· Limits and boundaries- Children may not think they need limits, but a lack of boundaries sends a signal that they are unworthy of the parents’ time, care, and attention. As a new step-parent, you shouldn’t step in as the enforcer at first but work with your spouse to set limits.
· Safe and secure-Children want to be able to count on parents and step-parents. Children of divorce have already felt the upset of people they trust let them down and may not be eager to give second chances to a new step-parent.
· Heard and emotionally connected. Creating an honest and open environment free of judgment will help kids feel heard and emotionally connected to a new step-parent. Show them that you can view the situation from their perspective.
· Discuss everything. Uncertainty and concern about family issues come from poor communication, so talk as much as possible. Never keep emotions bottled up or hold grudges, and try to address conflict positively.
Some children may resist changes, while you as a parent can become frustrated when your new family doesn’t function in the same way as your previous one. While blending families is rarely easy, these tips can help your new family work through the growing pains. No matter how strained or difficult things seem at first, with open communication, mutual respect, and plenty of love and patience, you can develop a close bond with your new stepchildren and form an affectionate and successful blended family.