Blended families have become more and more common today, but make everything mesh is not a simple matter. After divorce has occurred and two families are brought together to create a new one, it takes patience and perseverance to make it work. Check out these tips for merging families after divorce.
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Tips for Merging Blended Families after a Divorce
Remember That It Won’t Happen Overnight
When two families become one after divorce has occurred, you need to remember that it takes time for it all to mesh. Just because it’s called a blended family doesn’t mean you can throw everybody together and it just works.
It takes time for everyone to find their places within the new family dynamics and it doesn’t happen overnight. Don’t expect everyone to move in together and be full of joy and happiness over the new arrangements. Kids will find themselves in a brand new birth order — the youngest in one family may now be the middle child or the youngest in this new blended family. Give it time.
Spend Time Getting to Know Each Other
It takes time for families to blend, and it takes time and effort to get to know each other. Your new spouse’s children don’t know you and your personality and you don’t know theirs. The kids who are all now step-siblings don’t know what makes each other tick. Make a concerted effort for everyone to get to know each other better. Play games together. Go on outings together. Ask each other questions.
One of the best ways to help two blended families merge after divorce is to establish a family meal time. Every evening, sit down together at the table with every family member who is there. Don’t allow any of the kids to sneak off to their bedroom or the living room to eat. Insist that everyone sit down together for a family meal. Spend the time doing more than just eating — get to know each other! Ask everyone about their day and engage in real conversation. Soon enough, everyone will start to look forward to that family meal time.
Establish Family Rules
When merging two families into one, each family comes into this new relationship with rules and traditions. It’s time to establish new family rules for new blended families. Discuss with your spouse what rules will be important and need to be established and enforced.
Kids can spot inconsistency and weakness a mile off. If they see the parents being inconsistent in rules, behaviors, and expectations, the kids will respond with disrespect and attempts to bend the rules. Be consistent and make sure you and your spouse are on the same page with everything and every rule.
Merging two families into one big, happy family isn’t easy. It takes time and it takes work. The end result, though, is always worth it so spend time talking to your spouse and your kids and look at this new family as something that is not only new, but is also beautiful and precious.
Do you have any tips for merging blended families after a divorce? Share them in the comments!