If you and your partner are contemplating remarriage and the formation of a blended family, make this change a gradual undertaking the children and feel safe with. A divorced parent newly in love generally feels very blessed to have found love again, and can get upset with a child who acts out or tries to sabotage the new relationship. If this describes your situation:
- Remember that although you have fallen in love with this new and wonderful person, your child has not.
- Be patient, be considerate, and remain committed to making it work out for everyone concerned.
- Take your time, make plans, and talk with your new partner about parenting, and how you see the roles of step parents and step kids in your future blended family.
- Decide how much authority each of you will have over step kids, how you will handle visitation, ex-spouses, and ex in-laws.
- Discuss how you will handle blended family finances, who will stay home from work with a sick child, where you will spend the holidays.
Blended family already in the works?
As anxious as you are to be good and beloved step parents, try not to force acceptance or affection of your new partner. Children can, and often do, form extremely close relationships with step parents, but they do it in their own time. Building a blended family is a slow process. To help kids manage, make sure that:
- you make plenty of opportunities to be with your child without your partner being there all the time
- you do not force your child to accept your partner as a replacement parent
- you encourage and facilitate regular contact between your child and his other parent
- you and your partner always speak well of your ex-spouses, at least in from of the kids
- you allow step siblings time to bond, without rushing them
- you and your partner establish clear and consistent boundaries of behavior