By: Amanda Vann, Esq.
Change is difficult for most families and can be even more challenging when two families are blending into one. Blended families encounter challenges such as establishing new rules, addressing new demands, and developing new strategies that will allow for the transition to go smoothly.
Blended Family Advice
Below are some tips to help you handle the process as best as possible:
1. Plan ahead and allot time that allows for adjustments.
Blending two families doesn’t happen overnight. I recommend that you make a timeline listing when certain events, such as introductions and move-ins, will take place. Doing so can help alleviate stresses triggered by the uncertainties that can arise. A timeline can be extremely helpful to children and will give you time to answer their questions and calm their fears or concerns.
2. Be cognitive of your spouse and each child’s feelings.
A lot of emotions can be triggered when families blend. Reading the cues and signals of those involved can help you stay on top of things before they get out of control. It’s important that spouses address each other’s feelings and concerns so that all remain on the same page throughout the process. It is just as important to remember that your children may go through phases of anger, frustration, sadness, happiness, and excitement. Remember that, while some family members may be very excited about the changes, others may be nervous or scared and mad. Make sure you stay in tune with everyone so that your spouse and children know that you are going to do all you can to make it a smooth transition and a great experience for everyone.
3. Be one united parental unit to your children.
Because you and your spouse are blending two families into one, you may not always see eye to eye on how to best to do it. Talk out your differences and work together to develop one parental front to all of the children. Blending your parent styles into one solidifies your new family unit and shows everyone that the two of you love and care for all children and will be working together as one family, not two, under one roof.
4. Be open for discussions.
Often, one family member will shut down if they don’t feel like they have a say in anything that is happening. Make sure that you take time to have open discussions with each family member so that each can voice their opinion and concerns, whether happy or not. Family meetings whereby everyone talks in a group setting are not necessary. You can simply take the time to speak with each child individually, as well as with your spouse, to address the possible challenges that may arise during this time. Taking the “I am the parent and this is what is happening so deal with it” attitude, will only cause hurt and angry feelings, putting a huge strain on your relationship with your children.
Blending families isn’t always easy, but by following these simple steps, you can feel secure in knowing you are doing all that you can to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Family Law Attorneys in Silver Spring & Rockville
Whether you’re going through a divorce, adopting a child, or going through some difficult family issues, the family law attorneys at Andalman & Flynn are prepared to defend your rights and provide you with support. We have experience in all aspects of family law and serve each client with compassion and dedication.
If you need a family law attorney in Montgomery County or surrounding areas, contact our legal team for a consultation.
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