When marriage earns you your own ‘Brady bunch’, buckle up!
Remarrying and creating a blended family is an increasingly common occurrence in our society, but increased acceptance does not make the process of bringing two families together any easier. Love, effort, planning and a great deal of understanding is necessary to make this a successful transition for the children.
Telling the kids about the remarriage
If you and your new spouse have been dating a while, the fact that you are getting married will probably not be too big of a surprise to the kids. But depending on their ages and their relationship with your intended, their reactions may be less than what you would have hoped for.
Most children under the age of six or seven will likely be generally receptive to the idea of adding a mum or dad to their list of people they call family. To a young child, they will hopefully be able to view your remarrying as having someone else to love them, spend time with them and be a source of stability in their life.
Older children may view your remarrying as an intrusion. Even though they may have a good relationship with their new step-parent, older children often view remarriage as the end of any hope for mum and dad getting back together. They may also feel as if they are being ousted from their place of importance in your life. This is especially true if it’s just been you and the kids for a while.
As for teens, they often see remarrying as a total and complete ruination of their lives. They neither need nor want anyone new trying to step in to play dad or mom–they already have one of each.
Read the next page for more tips on how to handle a remarriage with kids.
His and mine–making it ours
When you remarry and blend families, it can be especially difficult for children who are suddenly being forced to live together 24/7 (except what time they may spend with the non-custodial parent). While the potential challenges of blending two families shouldn’t keep you from remarrying, you should certainly ensure that you have crucial conversations with all the children. Plan the move carefully and ensure that everyone has their views heard. Your children need to know that while things are changing, your love for them isn’t and never will.
And most importantly, you and your new spouse need to be a united team; a team that plays fairly with everyone and who lays the ‘rules of the game’ and the expectations and guidelines for your new family out in the open from the get-go. There’s going to be enough adjustments being made without throwing in more surprises in the discipline, chores and house rules departments.
Show them the love
Your kids love you. They want you to be happy. That’s why it is important that you and your new spouse take time for each other each and every day. You need to be each other’s best friend and support during the transition.
Once your kids see you smiling and laughing–enjoying life like you maybe haven’t in quite some time, they’ll come around. It may take a while for the kids to come around and they may never fully accept their step-parent as a parent, but they will be happy that you are happy.
We hope this article on re-marriage and blending families was helpful for you. Do drop us a comment if you’d like to share a few tips based on your own experience.