Maintaining a strong family bond is often difficult for a traditional family unit, but the added stresses of a blended family can make that goal seem impossible. Parents love their kids with all their hearts and tend to get angry and upset when they feel that their kids aren’t being treated kindly. That’s why there’s a higher risk of a remarried couple breaking up when children are involved in the relationship, notes Stepfamily.org. Creating a plan and working together can help families create a stable home where all family members feel connected and respected.Speak honestly with your spouse about the condition of your blended family. Apologize for any disrespect, bad attitude or inappropriate words you expressed in the past. Then call a family meeting to discuss how you feel about the overall family environment — and apologize to the children for not addressing the situation earlier and for anything you did or said that was inappropriate. Create ground rules about speaking to one another with respect and spending time together. Ensure that all family members are comfortable in the home — from feeling free to grab a snack when they’re hungry to having their favorite colors in their bedrooms. You might ask the kids, “What kind of changes would you like to see happen in our home?”Make a family plan with your spouse and then with your children. Decide who will organize the schedule, handle specific chores and pack the school lunches. Plan family vacations to include each person’s input and schedule regular time for the family to hang out together, such as eating Chinese food and playing board games on Friday nights. Get accustomed to spending time together and interacting face to face. Make the effort to do things that the children and adults like to do together, like watching a movie or riding bikes in the park.Let each biological parent handle most of the discipline for her own children while the stepparent stands alongside showing support. Give the children time to accept their stepparent as an authority figure — even if it takes years to reach this point. Keep discussions regarding the children private so the kids can’t hear.Resist the temptation to compete with your stepchildren’s other biological parent. View stepparents as aunts or uncles who love and encourage the children, but naturally defer to the biological parent. Focus on building a relationship with the kids on their terms and in their time, without criticizing their other parent.
Tips & Warnings
- It is never too late to repair a broken blended family when everyone is willing to be honest.
- Strengthen the marriage relationship to create stability in the home.
- Seek professional help if your family is facing emotional and behavioral problems.
- Do not show favoritism to your biological children over your stepchildren
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