A blended family has more members than we sometimes acknowledge, so it may be helpful now and then to take a renewed look at your extended family structure. A successful blended family makes accommodations with an ex-spouse and his or her new partner, and understanding how much they impact kids who spend time at their home in a joint custody arrangement.
Making co-parenting and joint custody work
An amicable co-parenting and joint custody partnership with your ex-spouse is one of the most important relationships you can cultivate. When both parents set aside their own personal issues and put them first, children gain a kind of stability and self-worth that is hard to match.
Co-parenting after a divorce and marriage
After your divorce and remarriage, the only relationship you have with your ex-spouse is that of co-parents of your children. It can help to begin thinking of the relationship as something completely new, something quite outside of you and your ex-spouse.
Co-parenting is the best option for your children
When you and your ex-spouse work together in cooperation for their benefit, your kids see that they are more important than whatever conflict ended the marriage. They can understand that your love for them will prevail, no matter what.
If your ex-spouse has also remarried
You deserve and expect consideration and respect for your role as a step parent to the biological children of your new blended family partner. Likewise, your consideration and respect for your ex-spouse’s new partner is called for, as well.
Enlist your partner’s help
Co-parenting with someone you wish you never had to see again is not easy, and it can sometimes take its toll in tension and exasperation. Keep personal issues with your ex-spouse away from your children and never, ever say negative things to them about your ex.
For more information on how to keep and strengthen your blended family, visit The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.