Before we get started, I would like to introduce you to and explain the concept ‘Blended Families’, as most of you are probably unaware of this term.
‘Blended Family’ is, in its core, a step-family system. A married couple with children divorces, and then either one or both of the partners go on to re-marry, thus creating a new ‘blended family’. The new partner might also have children from previous relationship.
This family system is very common these days. ‘Blended Families’ constitute a big part of my client base. I personally identify with the system due to my own past experiences. I know first-hand how important communication, bonding and strong family base is in blended families; and I also know how destroying it can be if these foundations are not in place.
These days the divorce, albeit still painful and complicated, is no longer seen as shameful. Following a divorce, people are more open to recreating family systems with new partners, compared to statistics from a decade ago.
Of course, creating a new family where children are present is no easy task. In this article, I will talk about 7 ways to make the transition process as smooth as possible for all parties involved, especially children.
1. Plan easy transition into your new blended family.
This step involves discussing the formation of a family system with your new partner. Care is needed to take it slow, bearing in mind the impact on the children. You and your new partner might be excited about moving in together/ getting married, but your children feel differently. Chances are, they are still hurt from the divorce/ separation so unless strong foundations for new family system are laid, the transition process will be painful and complicated.
So what should you do?
Wait before you re-marry. I can not stress how important this is. Wait a year or two after you meet your new partner to let the children get to know him/ her. Let the bond between them strengthen. Children will accept your new partner and possible siblings in time so do not rush into a new marriage.