In recent years, blended families are becoming the new norm.
However, moving into a blended family can be a completely new experience and not one anyone prepares for. Most self help books will describe this as an easy situation to blend into, but in reality, it’s not. Because the dynamism becomes different. The children from previous marriage or marriages have been brought up differently, family traditions have been formed that you are not a part of, social circles, religious circles. To cut this short without alignment where everyone is in some kind of agreement causes a lot of friction.
However, it doesn’t mean you can’t have a beautiful and happy blended family, it will take some time and require a lot of patience and love. Here are some of the rules you need to create a peaceful life in your blended home;
As we all know, settling down quickly into a blended family takes time, unlike an immediate bond that you will have with your own children. Be careful not to put pressure on yourself, your spouse or the children to live up to a particular standard. If your stepchildren don’t want to see you as their mum, don’t take it personally and just accept what it is.
Don’t compare your family to other blended families that seem to have it good. You only see what’s on the outside, you never know what’s happening on the inside. Focus on your own family and give time for growth. Shut out the outside noise.
2.Prioritize the kids
When you move in with your spouse and his kids, you are taking on a huge responsibility. It can be stressful and confusing for you and your partner and even the kids-especially the kids.
One thing you should remember is that the kids do not have the maturity or a prior experience to deal with this situation. It doesn’t matter what age(s) they might be, they need you to help them settle in comfortably. Take note of their concerns and do not judge or put pressure on them to behave in a particular way, allow them come into their own and when it comes to relationships between step siblings, let it develop on its own.
3.Respect each other’s privacy
Privacy is a very necessary feature in people’s lives, no matter the age. You should set rules for the kids, and the adults in the house. Let the kids know that they can’t just barge into other people’s rooms, they have to knock and wait for a response. They have to take permission from the other kid before using their toy(s).
On the side of the parents, don’t discipline children publicly, don’t talk negatively about a child in front of the other.
Respecting privacy helps to create trust and also teaches the kids about boundaries.
4.Move as a team always
Like the popular saying, teamwork builds trust and it helps overcome insecurity. As a family, you should do things together; eat at the table together, travel together, go on vacations together. Have a family time, crack jokes together, do chores as a family. While at this, try to include the significant people in the kids life on the team; the other parent.
As a blended family, you should be unified, and everyone should have a sense of belonging.
5.Everyone has a role to play
Everyone in the home should have a responsibility. The kids could help out in the home by cleaning their rooms, helping with meals and managing their laundry.
Your spouse could help get the kids ready for school in the mornings or pick them up in the evenings. Homework should be done independently before TV time. Having a sense of responsibility will teach the kids that there’s time for everything and they have to be responsible for their actions.
No one is perfect, and rules get broken all the time, that’s what rules are for, to be broken. Agreements however, is inclusive and people feel like they are involved and if you and your spouse work together to create and apply rules and boundaries, then blending your families will be easy.
I Honour You.