Blended Families: The Only Marriage Advice You'll Ever Need
Co-parenting and love: expert tips to help your blended family thrive someone with kids? Try our tips on dating a single mom or a single dad. Dating two years gives you time to really get to know one another. All of these “ cooking styles” attempt to combine the family ingredients in a rapid fashion. Dating after divorce with kids? Blended families can be tricky, but this relationship expert shows how to navigate murky waters; celebrate love.
What have been some of the biggest challenges of blended family life so far? There are a few. The first challenge is finding time. Lisa has her children on a different custody schedule than I do, and my kiddos live with their mom in a different, close-by, but not neighboring, town.
- Co-parenting and love: expert tips to help your blended family thrive
- The Only Marriage Advice For Blended Families You’ll Ever Need
With four school-age children and one preschooler, the combination of activities and responsibilities can require a lot of planning to ensure everyone is covered. The second is finding balance. This goes for both the kiddos and the adults. For the kiddos, ensuring that they all feel loved individually, while simultaneously helping them feel like a valued part of a new, extended family, can be a hard balance to strike.
For ourselves, it can be tricky to find -- and have to defend -- the time we spend together as a couple. We need to keep in mind that our relationship and marriage should come first if this new family is to truly thrive. What's the best thing about being part of a blended family at this point? Gaining more people into our lives that will love and support us, through all of the successes and struggles we each will encounter through life. This added support network includes our immediate and extended families, as well as educators and friends.
We have received nothing but positive feedback and input with the way we are each evolving as parents and individuals. What makes you proudest of your family?
These tips will help your blended family thrive | EliteSingles
Just how well our children have adapted to and appreciate this new life. They acknowledge each other's personalities and have found common ground with everyone. Of course, the two pre-teen girls and the two 8-year old boys tend to stick together, but they all also regularly congregate as a group during both play and quiet times, and they always welcome our little 4-year old "free agent," Lydia.
How do you deal with stress in your household? We believe communication is essential. It's a skill and attribute we both value immensely based on previous "educational" marriages.
I have found in Lisa a soul I can bare my soul to when needed, without judgement. And baring your soul to someone you completely trust, I've found, anyway, is an excellent "cleanser" of stress. Whose house will we move into? What are the rules going to be around chores, TV time, homework, sports, and curfew? What are the consequences of not following the rules? Does everyone have their own room?
Will you share rooms? In my experience working with blended families, moving into a brand new home is best. The reason behind building household rules relates back to the following concept. Toddlers, pre-teens, and adolescents all under the same roof.
It takes an incredible amount of planning to make the roll-out of blended family rules successful, but determine those rules early and stick to them.
Know that you will see your spouse differently I often hear the husband report that he sees his new wife stricter than he ever imagined. And dad responds by saying the same thing. Hence begins the dynamic stress of the blended family marriage. You will absolutely see your spouse in a different light once you officially blend your families. As a general trend, dads have a harder time setting rules. In terms of guilt, dads seem to carry more guilt from the stress of the divorce.
Now he has a new marriage and all these new kids. Guilt drives a lack of follow through on rules. On the flipside, moms often carry multiple roles.
Solve this discrepancy by talking about your parenting style to your spouse.
What Needs To Come First If Your Blended Family Is Going To Work
Key questions to ask: What was your established parenting style in the previous marriage? When we get married, do you want to see that change? Where do you want to grow as a parent? Whether you like it or not, blended families run on schedules. You better make some. Blended families need to schedule, at a minimum, space for these 4 things. Question 4 is when couples stop and look at me in confusion. You rarely make the best use of your time during off-weeks.
Many of my patients take a few hours to go do something as a couple — attend an event, movie, dinner — even on the nights they have their kids.
Alone time also carries some mental health benefits, too. Master transitions We know that kids go through a lot of transitions throughout their childhood.
My advice is to create a ritual and routine around these transitions. Start by asking these 5 questions: How are we going to transition? Will we always do it together? Will just one of us do it? Will I go when you transition your kids?
Will you come when I do it to mine? Every blended family has their transition plan based on their situation.
After you establish this plan, start to create rituals and routines around getting the kids. I really encourage having family meetings at every transition.
Use this as your time to check-in with your kids, even if you talk to them frequently on the phone during off-weeks. A family meeting strengthens your family and your marriage. Kids see that both parents are interested and invested in how everyone is doing.
Everyone has a voice. Deal with the ex Want a healthy marriage?
Ex-girlfriend or ex-wife, or ex-husband or ex-boyfriend. Manage your negative feelings around them. Communicate with them consistently.