Blending Families: Helping Children Adjust

Family Outing Children OutdoorsDivorce is a difficult hurdle to get over, especially when the time comes to move on and pick up the pieces. Often moving on includes remarrying and blending children together to make an entirely new family. A lot of blended families face some degree of struggle when children are forced to adjust to new siblings and a new parent. Many children find it hard to accept another man or woman as a parental figure and accepting that person’s children can be even harder.

Parents that are attempting to blend their children to make a new family will need to find ways to help their children adjust. One of the most important things that the parents of a blended family need to do is establish rules that are fair for both sets of kids. Both parents need to remember that blended children may feel a variety of mixed emotions about the joining of families, so having rules that are equal and fair to both sets of children is only right. A great way to approach this is to sit down with all family members and allow the children to have some input on what they think is fair and come to a mutual agreement.

Of course each child is different so these rules might vary from one child to the next, but they should be fair for both sets of kids. These rules should always be upheld regardless of which child breaks the rules. It is not uncommon for children to feel like a stepparent is being unfair if the parent punishes them for something they would not punish their own child for. Both parents need to be firm in discipline regardless of whether it is their own child or stepchild.

To be successful each member of a blended family needs to feel like they fit in and belong. Step parents may have to go the extra mile to assure their step children that they are loved and wanted. A step parent can accomplish this by attempting to bond with their spouses children. Patience is vital while trying to build this bond because children adapt and adjust at different paces.

When two people fall in love and children are involved, it is essential that the children are considered to be a prime aspect of that relationship. Parents can include their children in most activities to help make it easier for them adjust. Kids that feel left out can easily feel as if they are unwanted or that they are in the way. In some cases it might be beneficial to attend counseling together to work through difficult issues.

The key to a happy blended family is to have patience with each other and to learn to love and respect each other.