When people remarry or share living arrangements and blend families, it can be challenging. Here are some suggestions that might help if your family includes children under 18 years old.
It’s OK for children to think of the new person in your life as a friend rather than as “mom” or “dad”. Shared memories and experiences help build trust and close relationships. It takes time, so don’t expect children to accept your new partner right away.
When you first blend families, it is usually best for the birth parent to discipline the children. In this way, child and stepparent are not set up for fights and hurt feelings. As the relationship between child and stepparent grows, discipline may be shared.
Plan individual activities with each child in your new family. Spending time one-on-one helps you talk about things that might not come up in front of other family members. It also helps you get to know each other better.
Both birth parents and stepparents need to accept the fact that each will play some role in children’s lives. It is important for all parents to communicate and cooperate for the good of the children.