Blending into a new family is hard after you have been through a divorce. Children often have a hard time accepting changes and learning how to deal with things as a family is the first step to involving your new partner in your life. You have to understand where children are coming from and how to handle things as a family in order to get the best results.
5 Steps to Involve Your New Partner/Spouse in Your Lives
Step 1 – Plan a Blended Family
In order to be able to have a life with your new partner, you have to learn how to incorporate your children into your lives. This process is going to be challenging but with the right attitudes, it can be done where your children will have the support they need. Plan how you are going to work together to incorporate the children in your lives.
Step 2 – Lay the Foundation for a Strong Family
Next you will have to lay the foundation for a strong family. If you rush into things with your new partner, the damages could take years to repair. The first thing that you have to remember is that you have to take time to lay the foundation so that you can have a strong family. Laying the foundation is not without some struggles though, so make sure that you are ready by looking at the following guidelines.
**Do not make too many changes at once.
**Remember that children take time to develop their feelings.
**Look at how you can experience a “real” life with your new partner first.
**Start making changes before you get married.
**Never allow yourself to be pulled between your children and your new partner.
**Make respect a priority.
**Have reasonable expectations.
Step 3 – Bond with Your New Family
When you have laid the foundation, you can begin working on the bonding. Remember first and foremost that bonding is going to take some time and that you are not going to be able to bond overnight. If you expect bonding too quickly then you are going to be filled with disappointment. As you are bonding it is important to consider the children and their feelings. You want the children to feel safe and secure, like they have a voice, loved, connected, emotionally valued, seen, understood, encouraged, and appreciated.
Step 4 – Learn The Pace of the Children
It does not matter if all of the adults are ready to move forward with things, you will have to make sure that all children involved are ready to move forward before you do. Some children are going to take a lot longer than others to warm up to someone new. Other children will be quicker to adapt. You really have to just listen to the children that you have in your life to find out what is going to work best for you.
Step 5 – Understand How Children Adjust
Adjusting to a blended family is hard for everyone. Children often have the hardest time with adjusting because of the vast variety of changes that are happening in their lives. Depending on the age of the children who are becoming a part of the new family. The age of the children and their gender can play a role in how they adjust.
**Children under the age of 10 are going to be more willing to trust but will also have more of a need for attention. They tend to adjust more easily but often are in competition for their parent’s affections and attention.
**Adolescents have the hardest time adjusting. They will really struggle with accepting the new person in their life as a disciplinarian. Plus, they typically do not share their feelings openly.
**Teenagers are more likely to withdraw completely. They like to be separate from the family as they are forming their own identities. They are not likely to be open with their affections.
**Boys prefer that affection be verbal rather than physical. They are more likely to accept a stepfather.
**Girls prefer that affection be verbal. They also are often uncomfortable with physical affection from stepfathers and take longer to accept stepfathers.
Turning your family into a successful blended family is possible. It is going to take time and effort on the part of both adults. It is also going to take understanding and care. You can have success even if there are small hiccups along the way.