Nowadays, blended families seem to be the norm. Statistics show that 16% of children live in a blended family. This could be the result of their parents remarrying after a divorce, as well as parents having children from a previous relationship.
Finding love with a new partner can be amazing for a single parent – whether they divorced or never married. However, a new partner and the prospect of a blended family can be complex when parents share custody of their children.
It might take time for children to get used to a blended family
Generally, children often feel different extremes about their parent remarrying. Some children might be excited while others might feel resentful.
Various factors can impact how a child feels about the situation, including:
- Their age;
- How their other parent feels;
- If they are experiencing other changes in their life; and
- How well they know the new partner and their children.
Often, children just need time to adjust to the new reality that their family is growing. Thankfully, there are ways that parents can help their children adjust.
What can parents do to ease the transition?
Some critical tips to help children adjust to newly blended families include:
- Do not rush things: Parents should slowly introduce the children to their new partner and their partner’s family. Plan fun events or get together for meals to help everyone involved feel comfortable.
- Establish respect: Close relationships do not happen overnight. It will take time for children to develop relationships with both a new stepparent and stepsiblings. However, it is important to make sure that all parties respect each other, no matter what.
- Prioritize quality time together: Regardless of their age, children must know they are loved and important to their biological parent. It can be helpful to have a standing schedule of quality time, just between parent and child.
- Spend time together as a new family: However, it is also important for blended families to spend time together. One of the unique challenges that blended families face is that they often feel like two separate families living in the same house. Spend time together as a family and make new traditions, especially as the holidays are coming up.
Navigating family law issues can be difficult, but you do not have to do it alone. The attorneys at Bowen Ten Long & Bal, PC, are dedicated to helping Virginia families through any challenges they might face.