Are you getting ready to enter into a blended family dynamic? Have you and your significant other decide to move in together, which will mean you are each bringing your own children into the home? It’s a situation that is becoming more and more common across the country, and because of that, people have become more open to talking about the issues that can arise as you try to blend families. One of the best ways to approach a blended family is to recognize there may be some difficulties and create a plan on how you will deal with them, and address them before they become too big.
Here’s a look at four tips for successfully blending families.
Be Realistic with Yourself
A good tip to start with is to be realistic with yourself about what to expect in the early days, weeks, and months. Chances are it won't be perfect. There will likely be issues, some arguments, and challenges to get over. If you expect this from the start, it will be much easier to accept and deal with at that moment.
You and your partner should also speak candidly with each other about expectations, as you both need to be on the same page and act as a united front.
It's Okay for It to Take Time
While it's natural to want your blended family to mesh as quickly as possible, in reality, it takes time, and that's okay. Both families need to figure out how to become "one" family and trust and love each other. Patience will be required and it’s not a process that you can rush along or force.
Imagine How the Kids Must Feel
For all the fear, stress, and doubts you have regarding your new blended family, it's important you also step into the shoes of the kids. Think about how they must be feeling, and what their point of view is. This can help you to relate to them in a much more natural way, and show more understanding.
If you are having a hard time stepping into their shoes, the best advice is to speak to them. Ask them to be honest about what they are feeling so that you can understand better.
Seek Family Therapy
Another very effective tip is to seek family therapy, either before you blend the families or as soon as you do. This can help everyone involved, both kids and adults get through the transition in a much smoother and happier way.
Everyone is entitled to have their own feelings, fears, doubts, anger, and even anxiety about blending families, so attending therapy together is a great way to discuss these feelings. A therapist will be there to help guide everyone through the process and give them the communication tools needed to ensure it is a healthy and successful process.
Setting Everyone Up for Success
Each of these tips, along with patience and understanding, will help to set you up for success when it comes to creating your own blended family dynamic.