5 Effective & Trustworthy Tips for Blended Families
Blended families are when two people start a new life together, bringing children from previous relationships. As expected, this can be a challenging transition for everyone involved. How you handle this delicate situation can have a profound impact on the happiness of everyone. Here are five of the best co-parenting tips for blended families.
1. Limit the number of controllable changes
You will see the greatest chance of success in blending your family if you limit the amount of other controllable changes. Initiating too many drastic changes at once can severely limit how well your children respond to this transition. For example, moving your child into another home too soon can lead to problems because they do not have enough time to adjust and adapt. In general, your children will deal with the changes better if there are as few disruptions to their old routine as possible.
2. Get on the same page
Despite how much you love your partner, you will not always see eye to eye on parenting philosophies. It is better to work out these differences before bringing your two families together. You also need to get on the same page as your co-parent. Make sure that you are all in agreement with major parenting decisions. It will likely require that each of you make compromises so that everyone is satisfied with the arrangement. Having all this in place before moving in together will make for a smoother transition.
3. Build trust and respect with your co-parent
Dealing with the previous spouse can often be more complicated than incorporating new children into your life. You need to recognize that your co-parent will likely only care about how the kids are doing. They will not care about the new marriage or any other family dynamics unless it negatively impacts your child. Proving that you are always putting the kids’ best interest first will go a long way in smoothing out any potential conflicts. Once you build trust, it will be easier to cultivate this co-parenting partnership.
4. Experience everyday life together
It may be tempting to try and create good memories for your children with your new partner. However, this approach can backfire when it comes time to get back to a real routine. For example, taking the children on vacations and other fun activities is making good memories, but it’s not reflective of everyday life as a new family. Instead, you want to ease into this transition by incorporating plenty of real-life situations. The more that you incorporate these regular activities into your schedule, the easier it will be to jump into them on a full-time basis.
5. Limit expectations
It’s easy to fall into the trap of believing that your new blended family will work out perfectly. Rarely does everyone blend together seamlessly with no issues. Tempering your expectations will help you to avoid disappointment. Accepting that there will be conflicts and having a plan to deal with them will contribute to a better relationship between both parties.
There is always a learning curve when it comes to blending two families. However, following these five steps will help ensure a successful transition to this new season of life.