We often hear that love is better the second time around. Finding someone new and having a second chance at love and marriage presents the opportunity to take the lessons you have learned from the past to create a better future. But while you and your soon to be spouse are relishing in the joy and splendor of your new marriage relationship, chances are that your children may be feeling left out of the happiness and joy. Making an effort to forge positive relationships with your spouse’s children from the very beginning may not be easy, but is paramount to all of you in the success of your marriage and in making everyone feel important and included.
Although you may be ready to become involved in another relationship that may lead to marriage, your children, or the children of your potential spouse may not be ready to move on. Even if the new stepparent is someone that the children may already know, it doesn’t mean that they are ready for them to become a co-parent.
So how can you successfully blend a family? You may find the advice you are looking for by visiting helpguide.org, a website that offers advice on planning, bonding, and dealing with the differences that a blended family can present. They suggest that you embrace the differences and consider the basic elements that make a successful blended family work.
Laying solid foundations in the beginning helps to make a smooth transition into a new family. When children are included in normal daily activities it gives them a sense of belonging and the comfort of knowing they have a place in the new family infrastructure. Laying down the ground rules from the start are very important as illustrated at empoweringparents.com a website that offers solutions to making a blended family work.
In an article entitled “My Blended Family Won’t Blend” by James Lehman, MSW, advice is offered on how to co-parent without alienating your step children. Lehman says that, “When you’re parenting they’re all your kids. Know that it’s natural to feel a stronger connection to your own child, a special love for and commitment to them. But in a blended family, you have to keep those thoughts in a separate compartment from parenting.”
Being firm, but loving is an important first step when bringing a blended family together and is essential in your successful co-parenting transition. Remember that you’re not alone because you have a capable co-parent who has the same interest in the success of your family’s future.
Another resource for newly married couples with children is remarriageSuccess.com where more information on ways to engage your stepchildren and include them into your new life is offered. Remember to rely on one another and maintain a united front when discipline is eminent. No one says it will be easy, but the results can be quite rewarding.