Ways to Make Integrating Your New Blended Family Easier
When you marry another single parent, you create a blended family. Whether you both have your children living in your house full-time or the children move in and out of the home according to their parenting time schedules, you and your spouse are the heads of a new family unit. Integrating your children into your new blended family is not always easy. The tips below can help you make the transition less stressful for you, your spouse, and your children.
Create New Family Hobbies and Traditions
Every family has their special traditions and hobbies they enjoy. Now is the time to cultivate the family traditions you and your spouse will enjoy with your children. Determine a few fun, age-appropriate activities the whole family can enjoy and make them part of your routine. They do not have to be expensive or complex – just enjoyable.
Maintain Consistent Household Rules and Expectations
If you and your spouse decide that all the children are expected to finish their homework before dinner, maintain this expectation equally for all children. Enforcing certain rules more strictly with one “set” of children and maintaining different expectations for them can cause conflict and make your children feel like you are showing favoritism.
It is also important that you take it slow with introducing household rules and expectations. A lot of changes at once can overwhelm children. Having a new stepparent and step-siblings move into the home is a significant upheaval in itself. Give your children time to adjust to the changes that come with your remarriage.
Work Together as a Unified Parental Unit
Just like you need to maintain a consistent household routine, it is important that you and your spouse work together consistently as parents. Develop parenting strategies with your spouse before you actually start living together and parenting your blended family. In most cases, learning to parent with your new spouse will mean having to learn new parenting strategies and having to be flexible with them.
Whatever you do, do not have separate rules or expectations for the two “groups” of children in your home. Even when you feel your compromised-upon parenting strategies are more lenient or more strict than you would like, keep this opinion to yourself and do not undermine your spouse’s parenting.
Respect Every Coparenting Arrangement in Place
There are more adults in your children’s lives than you and your spouse. There are also your children’s other parents, and they need to be respected. Keep your discussions about your former partners and their parenting decisions out of your children’s earshot.
Work with an Experienced St. Charles Family Lawyer
Often, living in a blended family means contending with co-parenting schedules, child support orders, and other family law concerns. When you need quality representation from an experienced Kane County family lawyer, work with attorney Matthew G. Shaw of Shaw Family Law, P.C. Contact our firm today to set up your initial legal consultation in our office. Call us today at 630-584-5550 for help.