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How To Make A Blended Family Work

Written by Jana Angeles  

Blended families have unique dynamics when it comes to personal relationships. Though it can be difficult to settle your children immediately when it comes to a new home environment, it’s important that you and your partner work together as a team and show your children how to create a harmonious balance. Reaching the stage of settling can take a lot of work and time but in order to do this, you must be willing to be open and flexible for your children to agree with the rules you implement. To ensure that they adapt to them efficiently, try to stick to a few before introducing new ones. Otherwise, blended families with strong foundations can strengthen family ties, allowing room for maturity and love for the people you can call family, despite not being blood-related.   

Avoid Making Too Many Changes  

To avoid confusion and miscommunication, try not to make too many changes when it comes to the rules you implement with your children. If there are too many rules to follow, they can easily forget and avoid sticking to them. You don’t want them to make excuses so implement a rules system that works for everyone, not just ones you and your children have followed in your previous household. Be open to other ideas and rules and see if they can stick to two or three solid ones that promote respect and safety.  

Get To Know Your Partner’s Children 

Assuming that your partner has children, it’s a sign of respect to show them that you’re friendly and approachable. Although it can be awkward at first, it’s awesome to start realising their likes and dislikes. These can be wonderful conversation starters and can help “break the ice” a bit. It’s important that they know that you genuinely want to spend time with them and value their company. Furthermore, don’t take it personally if they are cold and spiteful towards you at the beginning. Just remember they may be hurt in the past or just haven’t fully accepted you just yet. Be patient and let them warm up to you at their own pace.  

Encourage Respect 

Rules don’t mean anything unless they promote the quality of respect. Blended families may find this to be difficult at first because of the changes that happen in the first place. Again, it could take time for others to reach full acceptance of the situation due to the adjustments being made. If you and your partner are bringing both of your children under the same room, solidify rules that they can follow to encourage respect.   

Avoid Placing High Expectations 

With the family dynamics changing in blended families, having high expectations from you, your partner or children is not applicable. It takes time to adjust and you shouldn’t expect others to fully adapt to these changes unless you’ve communicated the rules and etiquettes properly. High expectations can ruin relationships because they strive for perfection and this can create an unhealthy mindset within the family. Let things take their course and take it one day at a time. You don’t expect rainbows and butterflies at first, this applies to blended families too! 

Hang Out As A Family 

Just because the dynamics of a blended family are different doesn’t make it less of a family. Do your best to ignore societal pressures and the opinions of other people. Do fun activities together and make positive memories you’ll remember for a lifetime. It may be difficult at first to get used to each other, but it also helps to know that you can build bonds over time. It takes work and consistency to encourage fun activities for the children to participate in. Be creative and make the most of the time you have with one another. The more creative the adventure, the more memorable it will be! Engaging in real life experiences can help build trust, knowledge and love within the blended family. 

Overall, the dynamics of a blended family need to be nurtured but for that to happen, working with your partner and communicating with your children should be the main priorities. Like any other family, building the foundations of trust and love takes time and patience. All of you need to overcome the challenges to make way for the rewarding moments of the family. 

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