Are you a tad bit nervous about blending both families together in one household after marriage?Â Well, here’s some tips on ways to adjust to a blended family.
If you areÂ Â entering into a family with children and you have little to no experience
- Â You want to first start with understanding children
- Â Watch Videos
- Â Read Books
- Â Talk to parents about parenting
- Â Spend time with Children
- Â Volunteer with children groups
- Â Interact with children in your family
- Â Interact with friends children in order to observe children at different ages and in different environments
- Â Offer to babysit or take children on outing
Your role as a parent
You are the adult and the child should know that you are the adult. Itâ€™s ok to play and bond with the child but too much playing will cause a child to think you are a big kid. When children view you as a big kid they stop respecting you. The children should address you in a certain manner that shows respect.
Establish Ground Rules
Parenting does not come with a How- to-Manual so you have to come up with rules to incorporate each parentâ€™s style.Â You want to agree on what rules will stay or go. You want to incorporate the rules into your daily lives and make changes accordingly. Â You want to keep children balanced and on routines no matter what household they are in. Never make one sided decisions it often leads to chaos and confusion. Â It can also turn parents against one another and causes them to compete with one another.
Come together (family meetings, plan & bonding)
I know people are busy and have conflicting schedules but you have to come together as a family.Â Time should be spent with all members of the family at least once a week. Bonding is very important in any family and relationship. There should also be family meetings.Â The meetings will open communication. You donâ€™t want anyone to be distant or quiet in your family. Family meetings help with the goals of the family, rules can beÂ discussed or altered and issues/suggestions addressed.
NEVER SHOW FAVORITISM
Favoritism is an absolute NO! There will be a natural separation from your biological child and your step childÂ but it should never be shown.Â Â The easiest thing would be to create an equal platform for both you and the children to go by.
This is a problem in blended families where division comes in.Â Parents want to discuss every time that a disciplinary action takes place. They should decide what the proper action is together. One should never say â€œThatâ€™s your child…Handle Itâ€.In some cases the other parent needs to be contacted as well to get a proper input on what is going to happen with their child. Itâ€™s important that all parents are on one accord when discipliningÂ so that no one feels discipline is not equal.
These are just a few ways to adjust to a blended family. I recommend family counseling before theÂ blended family occurs and during if needed but the key to a successful blended family is good communication, bonding and understanding.
Can you help someone? Share your story of how you blended your family after marriage. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org