A marriage with blended families starts from the beginning. I find it odd how the term “blended families” is now a part of the common language when talking about the immediate family. Exactly at the “I Do” there two families blended at that moment, with or without children. And now the emphasis is directed toward bringing children into the marriage as if they are the sore thumb in the relationship. Could it be too much focus on the wrong thing? In marriage husband and wife are the parents to all the children. The challenge is added to the marriage simply because there are children. Managing all aspects of the family is what will help to keep balance within the marriage. Marriage with blended families in everyday life is nothing new.
Allow All the family to express their losses and transitions
Persons in blended families, especially the children, should be able to share their feelings of loss and their memories of how things used to be. All topics are to be encouraged and never felt as if they are off limits. Acknowledge and expect that all members of the family will need to feel normal. If a family member is having a hard time adjusting, it does not mean he or she does not care for the new person in the family. It could be they are not ready to express their feelings. It’s important to be there for them when they are ready. Continue to show love and kindness to win them over.
Respect the Child’s Experience of Loss
Members from two different families do not always understand each other’s needs. There may be a new parent who has not had children and probably will not know what to do with a toddler, a preteen nor a teenager. And even if he or she has raised their own children, they are likely to have learned and experienced different things and have had different challenges. However, you can help yourself and all the children by learning appropriate ways to raise children based on their age and maturity level. This could be a bonding time to have a one on one conversation to simply ask.
There maybe times when it is hard to determine what a child needs whether they are your birthed child or joined to your family. That’s simply parenthood. We don’t know all the answers. However, a child can sense the difference, if they are treated differently.
It’s a choice the parents make. Make all the children feel as if they are a part of a wholesome family and not his or hers, but ours. Your marriage will be in a better place. Unconditional love is what matters the most.