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Blending a family can bring on a lot of stress. When you think about it, there are his kids and her kids who both have, more than likely, been raised with different rules and in a different environment.  The most important piece of advice I can lend about blending a family for the first time is this:

When blending a family of two sets of children {his and hers}, make sure to discuss how you will combine rules, boundaries and expectations. Both sets of children do need to have the same rules based on age group, otherwise you are setting up your blended family home for disaster; a war against his kids versus her kids. 

It can be very difficult when you have one adult move in with the other adult’s already established household, this means one set of the children are already acclimated to the rules, structure and expectations of them within the home. Adding a new set of children into an already setup home, may be more difficult than if you all can simply start together in a new-to-everyone home. If you are like most parents of divorce, then you are probably making a decision to move in with your partner in their home or vice versa; this makes communication a huge necessity. It’s best if you and your partner can discuss every concern and step beforehand.

When blending a family of two sets of children {his and hers}, make sure to keep an open mind about the children involved, after all they are used to listening to Mom and Dad, now they are being combined into a home with new siblings and one new parental figure. Transitioning from a single divorced parent home to a blended family home hits a child completely different than the adults, after all the children didn’t fall in love with your partner – you did.

Keeping an open line of communication from day one with the children involved in blending the family is best. Both parents need to have an open mind and open heart about each others children. These children have all experienced divorce {or separation} of their parents and sometimes with divorce or separation comes two parents who are not the friendliest with each other, if you are the type of divorced parents who get along for the benefit of the children – I give you a HIGH FIVE, as one judge told me, “that is sadly, not the norm.”

How to Blend a Family of Divorced Parents & Kids without Drama #Coparenting

By the time you blend your families together, into one happily blended unit, you will have already realized the type of co-parents each of you will have to deal with. You will, by now, know if the other mother and other father are going to be accepting of you as a new parental figure in their child’s life or not. If the other parent is not accepting, this is going to be a long uphill battle, it will do you some good in simply accepting things you cannot change. Never make the children feel as if you do not like their other parent, try your best to do right for the children’s sake.

When blending a family, you have to take into consideration a lot of factors as to how to handle the children involved; type of environment they are used to living in, their ability to communicate both feelings and thoughts, and their overall acceptance of having new siblings and a new parental figure. In all honesty, the most difficult part of blending a family is to have an open mind and an open heart, each child will come into this blended unit with their own issues; both good and bad, work with each child at their level to ensure they feel trust, love, compassion and safety. All children need, both in a blended and non-blended family unit is – trust, stability, reliability and love.

 

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Written by brandyellen

Brandy is a born and raised New Hampshire resident who loves to spend extra time laughing & smiling with her three children. Brandy runs multiple blogs & she loves to tweet daily and ramble on Facebook. Author, with her daughter, of Positive Girl - The Power of Your Thoughts Question about this post or something found within it? Read my Disclosure Policy as well as Terms of Use.

This article has 30 comments

  1. Robin (Masshole Mommy) (220 comments)

    My husband and I are blended. I had my two when he moved in with his older son. There was definitely a transition period, but over all it went pretty smoothly.

  2. Dawn (89 comments)

    I’ve never had to contend with the challenges that come with a blended family. You seem like you’re doing great. The kids look really happy.

  3. Rob (28 comments)

    Great tips on blending family. I never been in that situation. When I meet Melinda she had our oldest daughter but I has no kids so it seemed pretty easy for us.

  4. nicole (54 comments)

    I grew up in a blended family and it was hard. They never bothered making rules the same for both of us because we were already teens whichiI honestly thought made it a lot harder.

  5. Terry (7 comments)

    You make it look easy, but I know how hard it would be to have ANY family with no drama. I guess both parents need to be on the same page with all the rules etc.

  6. Lisa (149 comments)

    I agree with what you said at the end there. Trust, stability, reliability and LOVE! :)

  7. Mickey (11 comments)

    Great advice! I don’t know anyone with a blended family, but these sound like great tips for them. It’s nice that you’re sharing your knowledge.

  8. Ann Bacciaglia (20 comments)

    Great tips. There are so many blended families today and I think it must be a hard situation for some families.

  9. Jaime (21 comments)

    These are great tips for blending families. I remember going through a tough transition when my dad remarried. We’re on good terms now, but it took many years to feel like a real family.

  10. Angela S (2 comments)

    I think you nailed it with that last sentence – trust, stability, reliability and love. It looks like you have a pretty good handle on things.

  11. Lauren (13 comments)

    Looks like the kids are super happy. I think those are great tips.

  12. Tami (7 comments)

    I know first hand how difficult this is. I am not in a traditional blended family, but I did move in with my aunt and uncle and their children when I was nine years old. I didn’t feel very welcomed at all and my needs and wants were cast to the side. I was given the basics and I guess that had to be enough.

  13. kristin (36 comments)

    I’ve never had to deal with these challenges but imagine it can take some getting used to for everyone. Wishing you the best!

  14. Pam (40 comments)

    I have no experience in the blended family area but I think this post contains valuable info for those that do or are considering marrying someone who has children also. It has to be a tough situation but one that can be rewarding too.

  15. Debbie L (13 comments)

    I do not have a blended family but I have friends that do – your tips are very good.

  16. Katrina (19 comments)

    Great article! I grew up in a blended family on both sides, with good parts and bad parts, and now my husband and I are discussing bringing his son from Brazil here to live for a while and I am nervous about the adjustment. The communication part is so vital.

  17. Rosey (999 comments)

    I love your last line. I agree blending families is not seamless, hurrah for those who take the time to make sure it’s as smooth as it can be.

  18. Debra (14 comments)

    I’m lucky that I’ve never personally had to deal with blending a family like this. I have seen it though with my husband’s relatives and it’s definitely a tricky process. These were all interesting tips.

  19. Kecia (22 comments)

    I haven’t experienced a blended family firsthand, but have seen it within my family. It’s not always easy, especially when the two adults aren’t on the same page or treat the children differently…

  20. Jennifer (79 comments)

    My husband and I have adopted two children and have had two. One was adopted at birth and the other adopted as a teenager. Bringing a teenager into the home was very challenging–my guess is that experience was similar to blending a family.

    Good for you for being a great parent!

  21. Pam (40 comments)

    Great post. I know a lot of my friends had trouble blending their families. It worked out over time, but they definitely had a learning curve.

  22. Alesha @ Full Time Mama (9 comments)

    My mom came from a blended family and though they had struggles, overall it worked great for them. Growing up with more siblings to play with probably wasn’t too bad… :)

  23. Danielle @ We Have It All (15 comments)

    Great tips! We are a blended family, 3 are mine, 1 is his and 2 are “ours”. Luckily, everyone transitioned pretty well. So thankful for that too!

  24. Jennifer (79 comments)

    I have a friend going through this right now. I will have to pass this on to her. Hopefully, it’ll be helpful to her and her family.