Entering a new situation is always challenging; whether it’s a new job or a new family dynamic, you have to learn the ways of the new environment and find the right strategy to cope with that change. The same is true for blended families.
Every blended family will have unique struggles they will have to address together, but there are three common issues that most blended families have to address at some point in the transition process.
Incorporating different traditions
Most households have their unique traditions that make their family special. However, it’s challenging to blend specific traditions from two homes. Each family member has different expectations surrounding holidays, vacations and other events.
Luckily, a simple solution is to start an open conversation surrounding family traditions and how each family member feels. It allows you to build new traditions as a family unit and find compromises between the two households.
Dealing with sibling rivalry
Combining families is a huge adjustment for most children; they may either feel excitement over a growing family or harbor jealousy over their new stepsiblings. Older children may even act out against their other siblings, creating tension in the entire household.
Luckily, parents prevent rivalries through several strategies, including setting realistic expectations, establishing house rules for every family member, planning activities for family bonding and create a separate space where people can be alone.
Creating a family bond
Most parents also recognize the challenge of creating a close relationship between parents and stepchildren. You are blending two families that may not feel comfortable with the new dynamics. So how do you establish that bond?
The best strategy is time. Don’t force your children to bond or even respect each other right away. Allow bonding to happen over time and find ways to that naturally connect your family members. If you are patient, it will allow your family to process the change and grow closer over time.
Being in a blended family doesn’t have to be a massive hurdle. It could be a small jump if you connect to foster a loving home and reliable communication for everyone in the family.