Combining a blended family together can be a challenging feat, think about it, if there are his kids and her kids then parenting needs to adjust because of the two sets being raised differently. As a person who has experienced the challenges that arise when blending a family unit, I wanted to share a few tips and suggestions so that your blended family can wed successfully.
How to Combine Children in a Blended Family
The first step in combining a blended family unit with two sets of children is to allow time for bonding to occur. You see both sets of children will have some reserve about allowing another sibling into their comfort zone. Home is each child’s safety net and when they see their parent gaining a bond with another child, it can bring up some hard to deal with emotions. Take time to allow your blended family children to bond over a common activity or interest so that they can learn the blended family unit is not the enemy but rather a way to add more family into their home.
I cannot stress enough how important it is for both blended family parents as well as the co-parents to be on a similar page. Children of a blended family unit already feel defensive when it comes to seeing their parent with another lover and their children. If you have a wedge in your parenting where one is doing something the complete opposite of the other, then the blended family children will actually unite for the wrong reasons – to divide and conquer their parents as a means to split up the blended family. Remain in constant discussion, beyond where the kids can hear, as a means to keep all parents involved in this blended family unit on a similar page.
Fights will be inevitable, it doesn’t matter if siblings are born of blood relation or not, when you put multiple kids under one roof with the mission that they will be a blended family sibling unit – they will fight. Think about fighting between siblings as a way to determine pecking order, much like wild animals, each child will want to learn what role they will have in this new sibling unit within the blended family. As parents, you will have to pick your battles wisely, learn to let some self-advocacy happen between the blended family siblings and ensure they are safe while battling out their emotions, opinions and learning where they will fall in pecking order in this new family unit.
The last step to ensuring your blended family can truly wed and remain a successful family unit will be to hold regular family meetings to clear the air. Often times with blended families, the children are off to their co-parent for visitation or maybe they live with the co-parent and are only with your blended family on weekends. No matter what the visitation schedule of blended family children consists of, be certain to hold regular family meetings where everyone is allowed to be open and honest to address issues within the family unit.