Developing harmony, peace, and understanding in any family has its challenges, but trying to blend two different families has its own unique struggles and bright spots. Stepfamilies can take several years to finally find a comfortable understanding for everyone. In some families, that option is not even viable.
We all have that one person in the family who helps us fill a meth withdrawal form, and in some families, there is that one person you just can’t stand. It’s normal for normal families, but when it comes to blended families emotions tend to be extreme and as a parent, you can be pushed to the edge. Here are hacks to make blended and step-parenting easier:
Support Children in Their Transition
Blended families are particularly difficult for the children because they have to be moved from one household to another. The transition tends to be tough on the kids and during such times their feelings tend to erupt easily.
To make it easier for them, be supportive. For instance, if the kid starts crying about a granola bar, or going to the dad’s house, or a shirt he can’t find, lean in and listen to them. That opens the doors of him being able to express his feelings.
You need to make room for their feelings during the transition period. Give them extra attention before, during and after changing households.
Reduce Tension and Build Closeness with Laughter
Laughter could be what your family needs during the transition period. You can find a way to strategically use funny situation, stories, or physical play to build a relationship between the stepchildren, especially the new and old siblings, and the stepparents.
Roughhousing and wrestling are some of the activities that can trigger laughter. Look for places that can keep the laughter going. Be goofy from time to time, chase them around the house, let them win, whatever it is, as long as it’s play and laughter, it will reduce tension and bring unity in the family.
Accept the Likelihood and Reality of Conflict
Blended families are like fruit salads, they are different fruits in the same bowl. That means that there is like thehood of altercation and misunderstanding. Instead of trying to make everyone see eye to eye, what you should do is celebrate and acknowledge everyone’s differences. It is normal for a family not to mix perfectly.
Avoid Setting High Standards
Whether a family is perfect or blended, none is perfect. Parenting is tough for either type of family. However, blended families have to go through an adjustment period. To make it bearable for everyone during that period, do not set standards that are impossibly high, that will only make step parenting even more difficult.
Seek Help When You Need It
A third party could be the help you need sometimes. A third party can be able to see deep-rooted problems and pinch points without overlooking and being biased. You can also seek help from a family therapist or counselor to help identify some of the areas within the family that need extra attention. This will also teach the kids that it’s okay to seek help when you want it.
How to Watch Out For Your Kids during Your Divorce Process
Marriage is not always a bed of roses they say, and you are at a point where you realize that now. Divorce is not always the best option, but it’s an option nonetheless, especially when it comes to the point where two people can’t stand each other anymore.
While you’re going through the divorce process, that the time you start looking into new homes. It’s also the time you can’t stop worrying about your kids and how badly this process may affect them. So how do you protect your children during the divorce process?
First Call a Truce with Your Ex
At the end of it all, whether the two of you can’t stand each other or be in the same room. Your kids deserve to have to parents who can work together. It is important to put your child’s needs before your own and work a plan to co-parent comfortably.
Avoid Fighting with Your Ex during the Divorce Negotiations
Your divorce to divorce already has an impact on your kids. As it is an emotional process for the both of you, it is also a complicated process for your children. Adding to your kids’ grief and confusion by fighting or insulting each other during the process is the last thing you need to do. Both of you need to master self-control and maturity and try as much as possible to make the process civil.
Allow For Open and Honest Conversations
Your children will have so many questions during the divorce process. In most cases, especially if they are young, they find it difficult to comprehend why you guys are divorcing in the first place. It is therefore important for the both of you to be open and honest about your reasons.
Focus on making sure you legitimize and comfort their feelings so that they can still be able to talk to you and tell you what they are going through. Address the things will have to change as a result of the process, this will allow them to know what they should expect once the divorce is finalized.
Give Them Love and Comfort
Children tend to assume that they are to blame for their parent’s divorce when that’s not the case. This is why you need to give your kids extra encouragement and love during the divorce process. Let them know that they are not to blame for what is going on, let them know that no matter what is happening both parents love them very much and assure them that nothing much will change.
Minimize Daily Disruptions in Their Lives
Divorce results in changes in the home, especially when one of the parents moves to a separate house. Change can be very difficult for your children. Work on a plan where you and your ex can minimize or limit as many changes as you can for the sake of your children. If you can, just stick to the normal routines so that the kids can feel less anxious and more stable.