5 Things to Consider When Blending Families

Are you getting ready to move in with or get married to your significant other? If so, that is a big decision! If you each have children from a previous marriage, it is going to be even more impactful to everyone involved. Blended families are becoming much more common, which means there are some proven tips and tricks that you can use to avoid as many difficulties as possible.

Form an Intentional Plan

This is definitely not the type of thing that you want to rush into without really planning it out. Form an intentional plan for things like what the rules will be like in your new blended family, how household work is going to be divided up, how you will deal with conflict, and much more. The more potential issues you can address ahead of time, the easier it will be for you to form a successful blended family.

Parent Together

Your children and stepchildren will undoubtedly try to manipulate the situation to their advantage. If one parent says no to something, they will try going to the other for a different answer. Step that type of thing in its tracks by always working together on all parenting decisions. If the kids ask to do something, shoot your significant other a text to confirm it is ok before giving permission. By presenting this united parenting front, you will minimize the conflict and provide all the children with a predictable environment.

Encourage Open and Specific Communication

There is no doubt that there are going to be some challenges as you all adapt to the new living situations. When problems are just starting out, it is best if those involved can speak up clearly and directly about their concerns. This will allow them to be addressed as soon as possible, which prevents problems from festering and getting worse. Consider having weekly get togethers to discuss concerns, or at least invite each child to talk with both you and your significant other regularly about difficulties they are having.

Form a Bond with Your Stepchildren

There is absolutely nothing like the bond between a parent and a child. While parents and stepchildren are different, the bond can be extremely strong there as well, but it takes work. To the extent possible, make sure that you and your significant other are spending time with the children of the other person to get closer together. When all the kids are close with both parents, it can help to eliminate many problems and conflicts.

Make Your Own Path

It is a good idea to read about tips for how to blend a family and get advice from those who have done it in the past. The bottom line, however, is that your blended family is unique. With that in mind, the way you handle this process is going to have to be unique as well. Come up with fun and effective ways to bring everyone together under the same roof to form a true and unique family that reflects your own styles and personalities.