Are you part of a blended family? You may have thought it was going to be just like the Brady Bunch, but now, you wonder if there is a secret recipe for successful blended families.
Well, I’m here to tell you that there isn’t a recipe, but there indeed are some helpful tips for blended families that will help everyone adapt easily. Here are a few things you should know.
Give each child individual attention
This is a good tip for any family, but it’s crucial for successful blended families. You can decide how to do this with your partner, but make sure you plan to things together as a couple with each child and individually. You can even split for “boys/girls-night-out” to mix the kids up and have them spend time with their new blended siblings.
When choosing activities, be sure to let each child pick something they enjoy. You don’t have to go out to spend money to do this. Give each child a special day each month where they get to choose the meals of the day and what movie you watch after dinner. This is just one of many parenting tips for blended families.
Choose active, fun family activities
Fun activities that get everyone out and moving are best. Try a picnic, camping, or amusement park. Be sure to spend time with each child independently. Oh, and laugh! This is one of the best tips for blended families – have fun and laugh together. It helps to create bonds and memories that you will be talking about at your family dinners for years to come.
Offer support during transition days
Blended families are full of transition days – when the kids go to the other biological parents’ home. These are hard days because your child may not like leaving you or they might struggle to find safety and comfort in this new schedule. Be sure to acknowledge how difficult this must be on them.
A few of the top tips for blended families on transition days are:
- Be sure to pack special stuffed animal, books, or blankets to help ease the transition from one home to the next
- Choose a neutral location for drop off and pickups
- Keep a full set of clothes at each home if possible and have the child only take special items, like sports uniforms
- Build a relationship with all biological parents
- Schedule all of the children in your home on the same weekend if possible, to help build your new blended family life and routines
Never speak poorly of other parents
This can be challenging, but it is a critical task that you must fully commit to if you want a successful blended family. As an adult, you can understand all of the “adult’ issues that come with your new family, but children don’t. Be sure to share big people issues only with other big people.
If you need to let off some steam about your ex — or his –, do it away from all of the children. Choose a secure location in the home where you and your spouse can discuss the issue. If you need to have a discussion with that parent, don’t do it on transition day. Arrange a separate time in a neutral location and leave the kids at home. They don’t need to know – no matter how old they are.
Seek help if needed
If anyone struggles with this new family life, seek the help of a counselor. Remember, just because you need to ee a family therapist, doesn’t mean something is wrong or that your blended family will fail. It just says that you recognize your new family has special needs and you’re willing to invest in them by getting help.
Parenting is hard. When you mix families and pasts – it can feel downright impossible some days. But, you committed to this relationship and your new family. Use these 5 best tips for blended families to get your new life on the right track.