Bringing together two families can be a monumental task.
When you and your partner both have children from previous relationships, there are so many imponderables – are the children going to get on; how is it going to work with your routine?
Here are some tips to help you blend the families together as best as you can.
Spend Time with Your New Step Children Separately
Make sure you spend time with your new stepchildren and get your partner to spend time with your children. This will make life so much easier when you decide the time is right for everybody to meet up.
Try to speak positively about the other children too but also don’t push it too much.
You don’t want your own children to feel they are being replaced! Instead, foster positive relationships and discuss what could happen in the future.
Give Everyone Their Own Space
If your stepchildren will only be visiting every other weekend, you should do your best to make them feel welcome in your home.
If you have space, give them their own bedroom. Get their input on how they would like this room to look and ask your children to help them put it together.
This will help them to feel welcome in your home, and also give them a place to retreat to in their new environment. If you don’t have enough bedrooms, as least give them a dedicated bed and bedside table/ cupboard to put their things.
Give them responsibility
If your stepchildren are older and responsible, consider giving them roles within the family. Maybe they’d do a school run for you or help with the shopping?
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If they feel useful within your family, they will be much more likely to settle in.
A Low-Tension Rendez-Vous
One of the worst ways to introduce your children and stepchildren is at a big party, or even worse your wedding to your partner.
Instead, meet in a low energy environment – and keep it short! Pizza and a movie for example. You want to make sure the first few encounters go well.
Take It Slowly
Don’t expect your children to become best friends with you step children overnight. If there is friction and upset, don’t force them together. Go back to square one and introduce the new set up as gradually as you can.
If you are all committed to coming together as a family, however, you will eventually get there.
It is going to take a lot of hard work and patience from you as a parent but there’s nothing to say a blended family can’t be a happy and loving family.