Overcoming Blended Family Problems
Bringing two families together in marriage is called creating a blended family. While a single mom and single dad may be in love with each other, it is possible that the kids may not be quite in the same state. It is normal when you create one family out of two separate families that there are going to be blended family problems. The key is to nip those problems in the bud to help make your family a stronger unit together and to create a new normal for all of you in creating a new family.
Give it some time.
While it may have been a quick thing for the two of you to fall in love, it needs to be said that you need to give it time for everyone to get adjusted. It is a good idea to wait at least two years after the divorce(s) are final and if you have been divorced that long, you will also want to date for at least a year to give the kids time to know one another and for you all to become more comfortable together.
Do real life activities together.
While it may seem to be bonding to do fun things all of the time together, you will not be able to do that all of the time when you are living your normal life. Go to school activities together, cook dinner together in one of your homes, watch television together, and do normal family type activities. While having fun can be a great thing for your families, you also want to learn how to deal with normal life together as well.
Talk about parenting.
You both most likely have different thoughts regarding parenting and the time to talk about these issues is before you get married, not after. Discuss what you both expect from your children and try to come to a consensus regarding how you are each going to parent the other’s children. This is a touchy situation, but you need to set out some ground rules to allow you both to be more comfortable and to know what to expect.
Keep realistic expectations.
While you may do everything possible to make the other’s children happy and like you, you need to realize that it is normal for them to think of you in some way as an enemy. Keep doing what you are doing and think of it as chipping away at them, rather than thinking that they are going to fall in love with you instantly.
A blended family can bring great joy and great stress, but it can be well worth it. Two people in love can bring together two families to help make the most of both of your lives to create a stronger family unit. By giving it some time, doing some normal family things together, talking about your parenting styles, and keeping realistic expectations, you will be able to create a family relationship that will give everyone greater strength and confidence.