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Advice for newly-blended families

Last week, we wrote a blog post about the difficulties of divorces in which children are involved, especially when it comes time to agree on child custody and implement a parenting plan. Those same challenges often arise again if a parent remarries – combining children from previous marriages into a new, blended family can be emotional and complicated.

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Recently, the mother of a blended family of seven children offered guidance to other parents who are considering marrying and joining their families. It is sage advice that all parents can use.

  1. Make new traditions, but keep the old: It is important to honor the traditions that each family shared prior to the remarriage, but it is also vital to the future of the new blended family that new traditions and memories are created as well. 
  2. Ask for help: There can be a significant shame factor to divorce and remarriage, which often prevents parents from asking for advice or help. Don’t let the stigma get in the way of doing what you need to do for your new family. 
  3. Stay loose: Flexibility is key in blended families, especially as custody agreements have kids going back and forth between parents and homes. Learn to make the best out of bad situations.
  4. Show some respect: Make sure that each child has a voice, and that their opinions are heard. Give them the freedom to speak their minds, and take what they say to heart. Honesty and respect will go a long way in creating a happy home life.

Are you part of a blended family? If so, what advice would you give to others in a similar situation?

Source: The Huffington Post, “What We’ve Learned From More Than A Decade Of Blended Family Life,” Brittany Wong, May 16, 2014

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