Children and young people need to feel safe and secure. When creating a blended family it is important not to rush into making too many changes at once so that the children feel accepted just as they are. Gradual changes and new boundaries can be agreed upon by parents and introduced gently.
Discussing how you want the new household to work is important. Agreeing on a course of action together and carrying it out as a united front is paramount. When parent figures contradict each other it complicates relationships in any household, whether they are a ‘traditional’ or blended family.
Here are a few areas that can be discussed to begin with:
- bedtime routines
- morning routines
Whether the children live with you permanently or visit regularly these aspects of family life will impact on your relationship. They can give rise to challenges that all families face but can feel especially difficult in blended families. Prior discussion will help you to cooperate with each other and help the family settle in to its new life together.
As in all relationships, communication is vital.
Being honest with yourself about the fact that you are angry and resentful at times is healthy, it’s a perfectly natural way for all parents to feel. There is no such thing as the perfect parent. Everyone with children and young people is pushed to their limit at some point. What matters is how you handle and heal upsetting situations afterwards. Focus on what can be learnt from confrontations to handle them better in future.
If possible, it’s important to keep a broad perspective on the highs and lows of family life.
On some occasions this will mean becoming the bigger person, keeping calm with everyone involved and waiting for a more appropriate time to discuss the matter in hand.
Regularly making time for yourself and your own relaxation is important, as is having quality time alone with your partner. After all, you two are the reason you are creating a blended family in the first place!