9 Strategies for Happily Blended Families
If you live in a blended household, you almost certainly recognize the dedication and stamina needed for a happy home. Although many families struggle through years of challenging communication, you can use specific strategies to help yours relate and function more peacefully.
You may already have learned some techniques that suit your family’s needs. To supplement these, review these 9 strategies to help your blended family be healthy, happy and strong.
- Agree on a plan. In advance of “blending” the families, parents can talk about how they will manage the kids and their lives together. Before you marry or move in, make it a point to discuss openly how you want the management of the kids to be split or shared.
- Decide not to discipline the other’s children. Although this may sound like a drastic measure, it’s wise – at least in the short-term – to avoid potentially uncomfortable occurrences between stepparents and children.
- Instead, each incident will be discussed and the biological parent will determine and administer the consequence. This will help to reduce development of negative feelings by a child toward the step-parent.
- This agreement may be altered in the future, depending on the progression of family relationships.
- If the kids really know the other parent well and have a well-established, easy relationship with them, household life will go more smoothly once the family “blends.”
- Avoid turning family meetings into “gripe” sessions.
- With your partner, set the tone in the meetings. Encourage your kids to appropriately comment. Especially with younger kids, make suggestions to help guide the meetings’ discussions.
- One method is to let kids take turns selecting what the weekly family activities will be.
- If you like, provide parameters for the choices. For example, the kids might choose from going to get ice cream, playing miniature golf or seeing a movie.
- If your work schedule allows, attend some of your stepchild’s sports or extracurricular school activities. This will help demonstrate that you notice and care about them.
Blending a family can be an interesting, challenging, and ultimately very rewarding journey. Apply these strategies to ensure that your household is functioning positively for a healthy and happy family.