After the dust settled on your divorce, you fell in love with someone new and remarried. You and your spouse both have children to add to the mix this time. Despite your newfound love and happiness, it may not all be a blissful honeymoon, as you’re also facing new challenges of how to bond as a blended family. You may have already started the process during dating and your engagement, but after the wedding may be the first time you all live under the same roof and begin a new chapter together.
There’s the worry of whether or not both sets of kids become friends with each other, let alone consider each other siblings? Then there’s the challenge of your children bonding with your mate and your spouse’s kids bonding with you. It can be a challenge to have kids even accept their parent’s new spouse. Kids have a natural sense of loyalty to their other parent and may even feel that they are disloyal if they accept their Mom or Dad’s new spouse. We at Family Matters Law Group are here for you, with some suggestions on bonding better as a blended family.
For a healthy bonded stepfamily to emerge, the nucleus must be a healthy relationship between you and your spouse. Take time to nurture your marriage and spend quality time together. You and your spouse may both have learned some lessons about what didn’t work from your prior marriages. Now you have the opportunity to put your hard-won wisdom into practice to make your new marriage have a healthier, happier outcome. In addition, seeing love, respect, and communication between you and your spouse creates a stable, secure environment for your children and stepchildren.
Bonding with stepchildren is a process and may take a year or two. The best way to foster closeness is not to push it. Be patient, and let the child set the pace. If they’re introverted, it might take them more time to warm up to you. Regardless of temperament, most kids of a divorce deal with complicated feelings of grief about the loss of their original family unit. That has nothing to do with you, so try not to take it personally. Let them know that you’re there for them whenever they’re ready to get closer.
One way a blended family can bond is to integrate familiar routines and traditions into your new family unit. If your stepkids were used to ordering pizza and firing up DisneyPlus or Netflix on a Friday night, make sure you keep it up and include your kids. Likewise, if your kids look forward to taco Tuesdays, keep that familiar and comforting time in place, but seek to include your stepkids.
See what new things you can come up with as a blended family, such as helping prepare a meal together, or ordering dinner in, maybe a family game night, with board games or video games. If your family enjoys the great Georgia outdoors, there are many local parks where you can take a walk or a hike. You might even want to take a road trip nearby, rent a cabin one weekend, and go on a local mini-vacation. Just taking time away from the daily grind can provide ample opportunities for you all to bond.
For families in Henry, Clayton, and Fayette counties, Family Matters Law Group is here to extend a helping hand in matters such as child support, custody arrangements, divorce, and father’s rights. Please feel free to reach out to us to set up a consultation to address your specific needs personally. You may call us at 678-545-2118 or Contact us through our website. We look forward to partnering with you!