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Blended Families: How to Adjust After Remarrying

Posted on in Children of Divorce

DuPage County Family Lawyer

The term “blended family” refers to families that come together with a  relationship that follows a previous marriage or marriages. This often means connecting children who are unrelated to form a new, larger family. Every situation is unique. Some spouses both have children from their previous relationship while others do not. Both families are accustomed to “how things used to be” and it can be a difficult transition for parents and children alike. 

There are many different strategies that can help families come together, even if it does not feel natural at first. Listed below are various ways to strengthen your family as it begins to form:

Set Boundaries

Begin by having a conversation with your new spouse about parental expectations. It is not always best to try and become your stepchildren’s new disciplinarian. By discussing and planning your boundaries and expectations with your spouse, you ensure that you both will hold similar roles for any stepchildren while maintaining respect for their biological parent.

Include All Parents

Though stepchildren may not see a stepparent as their “true parent” right away, stepparents often take on a more significant parental role as time goes on. It is important to remember that the child now has more than two parents and that communication between all parties is essential. A successful blended family manages to balance their newly formed family with their previous one.

Avoid Favoritism

It is common for stepparents to try and befriend their stepchildren as they transition into their new lives. Though it is important to have an amicable relationship, one must try to avoid treating their stepchildren differently than their biological children. Favoritism can lead to conflict between siblings and a damaged relationship with the biological parent and their children.

Make Each Child Feel at Home

Many blended families do not have all children living full-time under one roof. It is important to make every child feel at home even if they just visit on occasion. Buying “the essentials” to have in your home is a good way to solve this issue. Get the child a toothbrush, shampoo, etc. so that they feel less like a visitor and more like a member of the family.

Take Time for Your Marriage

The process of blending families can often place the focus on making sure the children are settled while putting the couple’s relationship on the back burner. It is important to take time for yourselves, as your relationship is the reason for the new family. Having a strong relationship will make the transition easier for everyone and allow you to lean on each other when things do not go exactly as planned.

Contact a Lombard, IL Family Law Attorney

Blending families means balancing and dealing with co-parenting schedules, alimony payments, and other family law matters. If your family is in the legal transition process, an experienced family law attorney is crucial. Contact our DuPage County family law attorneys for a free consultation at 630-426-0196 to ensure a smooth transition for you and your family.

Source:

https://www.helpguide.org/articles/parenting-family/step-parenting-blended-families.htm

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