As the number of marriages decline and the number of divorces increase, there are more and more blended families. Being part of a blended family can certainly be a challenge at times. A blended family is very different than just two people meeting, falling in love and living their lives together. A blended family means that children are involved, and when there are children involved, blending the two families together can be a difficult task.
1.) The number one frustration when it comes to blended families tends to be discipline. Both parents tend to be a little more protective of their own children (this is only natural) and that can cause waves between the parents. Frustration can occur due to the fact that both parents may have different way’s of speaking and disciplining their child. Do you treat your kids differently versus your partners children? Do you treat them all equal? These are challenging questions for sure. It is best to have a good, open line of communication with your partner. Come up with a common ground in regards to discipline, so that all the children involved know that both parental figures are on the same page and no child is favored over the other. This may take time, but if the communication is there and ongoing all should work out just fine.
2.) Speaking of communication, that brings us to the next most important part of having a successful blended family. Communication is key to any relationship, but more so in regards to blended families. Being able to communicate with your partner about the children’s needs and wants is very essential. Showing involvement in your partners children just as you do your own is a must, or the relationship will most certainly fail down the road. When you make the choice to enter a relationship with your partner whom has children, you have no entered a relationship with those children as well. This means, you care for the children as they were your own flesh and blood and you support your partner in all aspects of parenting, good or bad. So keep the lines of communication open, be open, don’t ever hold something back that is bothering you. Show genuine concern for all children involved and build a bond with each of them.
3.) Make time for your partner. This is such a huge part of being in any successful relationship, but extremely important in a blended family. Make your partner feel loved and show them that you love them and their children. Life is busy, we get it, but make time. Get a sitter and plan a date night once a month, pick a night and don’t stray from that date, MAKE IT HAPPEN! Write little love notes or funny notes to one another and leave them around the house, something so small can make a huge impact for sure. Just as important as it is to make time for your partner, it is also important to make time for the children. Show them that you are a family and what it means to be a family. Take time to play family games, maybe implement a game night! Take the time to find a common bond you might have with each child involved in your family and explore that with them on an individual basis.
4.) Dealing with your partners Ex can be a difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be. I once met a woman who was involved in a blended family and she had a remarkable ability. She was able to get along with her ex, sounds crazy right? To most people this is impossible. People break up, get divorced, the children split time with each parent, the parent moves on and meets someone else and everyone ends up disliking one another. This doesn’t have to be the case. This woman I met was able to have birthday parties, pick up and drop offs, dinners and so forth with her new husband as well as her ex. All in the same room, no fighting, no hostility, just simple understanding, conversation and normalcy. It was rather amazing to witness first hand because you simply do not hear of people doing this. Just think how incredibly healthy it is for the children to see. No hostility, no frustrations! So the moral of this short paragraph is this, GET ALONG. Do it for yourself, your relationship and most importantly, do it for the children.
5.) Finally, be positive, be a family. It is the little things that matter in the end. It’s the random love notes to your partner, the “have a good day”notes in the kids lunch boxes. It’s you and the kids singing as loud as you can on a car ride to the Frozen soundtrack, it’s making a smiley face with the syrup on their pancakes. Holding hands with your partner while shopping and telling a random joke to see that smile you love so much. It’s the little things that are remembered, remember that.
I hope you found this little blurb of insight helpful!
Author : #CJ@AJ
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