blended family remarriage

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Both sets of kids are forming a pretty solid step sibling alliance. Although your step family is still a work in progress, you feel pretty confident things are pretty much on track, and that your children and step children are becoming a blended family. But here comes the kicker: during their last visitation with your ex-spouse, the kids were informed of upcoming remarriage plans. And the new partner will bring step siblings into the new blended family!

First reaction – yours

Your first reaction may well be that your ex should have told you before telling the kids! Sure, that is unfortunate, but it is better to move on. What matters is how the kids are dealing with this news of another remarriage.

 

How might the kids feel?

Your children have probably known about the new relationship for a while, and are not surprised by a remarriage announcement. They have probably met the new spouse’s children, and even spent time with them. But knowing something may happen, and understanding it, supporting it, or being happy about it, are entirely different matters. Younger kids will need assurance that they will still be loved the same as before. Adolescents and younger teenagers will be cautious, but will tend to focus more on how these changes might affect their own lives. They will likely look to find fault with the remarriage situation. Older teens may or may not mind at all, one way or the other, and feel a little aloof from the fray. It is helpful to remember that they are generally very uncomfortable with the idea of parents being intimate. In other words, your children will most likely feel the same way they felt back when you told them about your own remarriage plans.

 

Another blended family!

As if one step family were not enough, your children will now have a second blended family to cope with! New step parent, new step siblings, new step aunts and uncles, step grandparents, step friends, step dogs, step everything else! New house rules, new sleeping arrangements, new television programs, new foods, new expectations, new, new, new! As with your own, this second remarriage is not anything your children chose, and now they will go through it all again! Unfortunately it does not get easier for them, the second time.

You can help your children cope by empathizing with their situation: an additional blended family will mean a whole new group of people they will have to get to know, learn to understand, and even learn to love. There will be new house rules, new schedules, maybe a new home for their other parent, and of course the new step-siblings. This is a lot to deal with! Be understanding and sympathetic, but above all, be positive. They need your conviction that a blended family is a good thing.

What will help most?

First and foremost, do not speak negatively about your ex-spouse, the new partner, or their upcoming marriage in front of your children. Your children will have a life-long relationship with these people, who will have a hand in raising them. Negative talk only make a negative impact on how easily your children cope with the new situation, and negative remarks or complaints will assuredly make them feel they must choose sides.

Living in a blended family, or two blended families, can be a struggle for your children and step children. Belonging to two step family groups does come with very positive possibilities and opportunities, though. With understanding support and a little help from you and your spouse, and with cooperative co-parenting with your ex and the new step parent, all the step siblings can develop great family bonds that can enrich their lives forever. Good luck!

blended family and remarriageYou and your spouse are finally getting the hang of managing your blended family, and the step siblings are getting along. Just when you think things are settling into a workable routine, the kids tell you about your ex’s remarriage plans. And the new partner has children of their own!

How do you feel?

Your first reaction may well be that your ex should have told you before telling the kids! Well, yes, but what’s done is done. Sure, parents should not send messages via the kids, and you are not sure how sensitively this news was shared with the kids, or even how the kids first reacted to the news. But none of that matters now; what matters is how the kids are dealing with this news of another remarriage and another blended family.

How might the kids feel?

Your children have probably told you a little about the new relationship; they know, and hopefully like, the new spouse’s children. Kids may sometimes play down remarriage possibilities, as a means of denying it, or maybe even to spare your feelings, but they may actually be surprised. Remember, even though you and your new spouse are happy in you remarriage, kids often hold onto the hope their parents might someday get back together. This remarriage announcement will almost certainly put an end to that hope. So, how do they feel about the other parent’s remarriage? Probably just the way they felt when you announced your remarriage!

 

How can you help them accept the remarriage?

Well, first, remember that none of this is about you. No matter how happy you are after your divorce and your own remarriage, you may have a passing twinge of regret, or even a bit of jealousy on hearing your ex is about to remarry. This is actually pretty common, and will pass quickly. Helping your children navigate through this new challenge will keep you busy enough.

Be positive. Remind your kids that after you remarried, you still loved them just as much as ever. Share with them how happy you are in your own remarriage and with your blended family. Assure them that their new step parent loves their other parent, and will get to know them and love them, too.

Negative talk brings no positive results

First and foremost, do not speak negatively about your ex-spouse, the new partner, their upcoming marriage, or new step family members, especially in front of your children. They and the new step family will have a tremendous effect on your children, and because of that fact alone, they deserve all your support. Negative talk can only have a negative effect on how easily your children cope with the new situation, and it will make them feel they must choose sides.

Cooperate with your ex on wedding plans

If your ex and his new partner want your children to be part of their marriage ceremony, celebrate that good piece of news! Let you children be excited about it, and do what you can to accommodate rehearsals, parties and step family gatherings. If your ex invites you to the wedding, go if you feel comfortable, but be sure to be available to pick the kids up at the end of the day, if that is the plan. By helping out on their big day, you let the new couple, and your kids, know you want them to succeed as a blended family.

When you accommodate your ex and the new spouse, and let your children know it is okay to blend into a new step family, you help your kids accept remarriage, accept new step siblings, and accept that life goes on. Help them know that new opportunities for happiness and love are there for people who seek it and work for it! Good luck!

blended family

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School vacations can be a good time to re-visit the house rules you and your spouse have established. With new schedules and perhaps additional visitors to your home during the summer holidays, you may want to review some of the day-to-day expectations.

Time schedules for your step family

With school out, step moms and step dads will almost certainly see step kids more often, and step siblings will likely have more time together, too. Consider revising bedtimes during school holidays, so long as each member of the entire blended family still gets enough sleep. Sleep is extremely important for growing children, especially for adolescents, but staying up a little later with a focus on blended family activities can carry benefits, too. If your step family daily plan can accommodate it, let your adolescents sleep in later. They will love you for it, and studies have shown that adolescents get most of their beneficial sleep in the morning! Going to bed earlier does not do the trick, the experts say, and as long as they do not sleep away the day, where’s the harm?

Blended family focus

The beginning of summer vacation may be a good time to hold a blended family meeting to review home ground rules. Step family members may suggest revisions for the short term, but be sure that your basics stay intact. Mom and step dad, or dad and step mom, remain in charge of the entire step family unit. While bio parents should always take the lead on issues of obedience, and with any consequences for their kids, a step parent at the scene of misbehavior must always confront the offender and take whatever action is appropriate.

Assigned chores and permissions may need revising to accommodate summer sports schedules, other-parent visitation schedules, or time spent with friends, and to be sure everyone is treated fairly. Step siblings watch to see that everyone is treated equally, and it is good to note that “fair” does not always mean “equal.” A teenager’s permission to go to the movies with friends does not mean that every child in the family has to see a movie, for instance. Young children need more sleep and earlier bedtimes, but may cheerfully enjoy early morning activities without their older step siblings!

Take time

Summer activities often keep us busier than we’d like, but try to be conscious of how well you are listening to your spouse and the other step family members when they talk to you. Practice active listening; stop what you are doing, look at the person talking to you, and make a thoughtful and caring response to what has been said. If you simply cannot stop what you are doing at the moment, say when you will be able to listen, and then keep to that promise. Communication is always improved when people talk with each other, rather than talk to each other.

Blended family summer fun

Spouses, summertime fun applies to you, too. Be sure to continue your regular date nights, and seek out time to be alone. It is good to remind yourselves on a regular basis why you fell in love and why you chose to create this blended family. You deserve time to yourselves, and may even need to recharge your step parenting batteries from time to time!

Step children and step siblings need to recharge their batteries too, so give everyone a break now and then and allow for individualized time with bio parents and kids. A simple trip to the hardware store or garden shop can be a fruitful opportunity for talking and checking in to see how things are going. Be sure to check in on a regular basis; your views may differ from that of your child.

This summer vacation, spend as much time as a blended family as you can, building relationships and memories; and be sure to balance blended family time with those times between bio parents and kids, and between you and your spouse, which are so valuable.

 

School summer break is coming soon, and you may be wondering how it will go when your blended

blended family remarriage

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 family is all together; the kids who live with you have settled into a fairly good routine with visits from step siblings, and you have been able to establish reasonably good relationships with your step kids. Now is a good time to step it up a notch!

Blended family summer schedules

Scheduling summer vacation visitations can be complicated, but all it takes is a calendar and email or a telephone, and tons of patience and flexibility. Hopefully, you have been able to schedule times when everyone can be together as a blended family, and others when your kids and step kids are all with their other parents, giving you and your spouse some well-earned time alone. If this kind of schedule will not work this year, try for next year!

Use school vacations to blend more completely as a step family unit

The everyday routine is established, and you are reasonably pleased with how well it is working with school and homework, visitations and activities. During summer vacation, when you get more time with each other as a step-family, take advantage of the time! Make your home a welcome place for bio and step kids to bring their friends. Adolescent members of your step family need time with their friends, especially, but be sure to encourage them to make an effort to join step siblings and you for blended family time, also. Helping them to set limits on their own activities and time teaches important life lessons and reinforces their important place in your blended family.

What shall we do?

Family time, blended or otherwise, is all about building and maintaining relationships, and about enjoying each other. Blended family summer vacations can be a perfect time for step siblings to bond and for step parents and step kids to deepen their relationships, too. Talk with your spouse about possible outings or trips, and before you approach the kids to ask for their input, come up with a few options that could work with your schedules and your budget.

Be up front with your step family about time or budget constraints, and do not feel you must complete with fantastic vacation plans made by your ex-spouse. Mostly, both step kids and bio kids just want to spend time with their parents.

Stay-cation

So long as everyone is comfortable, happy and reasonably occupied with things to do, summertime at home can be fun and rewarding for the entire step family. Introduce the idea of a stay-cation, where you stay at home and take day trips to interesting and fun destinations within driving distance. This can work well with a step family who has obligations with sports teams or family reunions, or with summer school.

Schedule barbeque nights, picnic lunches, dessert making contests, backyard camping, ghost story bonfires, and reading circles. Believe it or not, even older kids like being read to now and then. Board game marathons are a good way for older step-siblings to stay engaged with each other, and littler kids just want your undivided attention, doing anything, for extended periods of time.

Traveling

If your blended family decides to travel, discuss behavioral expectations, including what to wear, what to pack and whether cell phones and computer games will be allowed during group times. In the best of times, communicating with a teenager can be difficult, and downright impossible if they are tuned out from you and from their step siblings!

Step family time spent together can be fun and rewarding no matter what the activity, so long as everyone feels included, loved and appreciated. Take advantage of school breaks to strengthen blended family ties. Now is the time to create meaningful memories with step parents and step siblings all your kids can keep with them, long after the summer holiday.

 

Having a complete and happy family is something that most people would like to have. But in today’s society, a happy family does not only mean that children must be with their biological parents or parents should be with their biological children because in reality, this set up does not always exist.

It is important to note though that it is not impossible to have a normal blended family because several families of this kind showed that they can live their lives to fullest with the love, help, and support from one another.

According to statistics, about 50% of all marriages end up in divorce and about 65 % of these couples decide to remarry with their children from previous relationships and this is where a blended family comes into the picture. To set the record straight, a blended family is a family in which one parent has children who are not related to the other parent. There are instances that only one parent has children from a previous partner but most of the time, both parents have children from their previous relationships. Children coming from a blended family may live with one of their biological parents and just visit the other; or may live with each biological parent for a specified period of time.

With that being said, a television production company came up with an idea in creating a television series that can provide an opportunity for viewers to witness what a blended family really is. This series aims to show the different sides of having a step family with the hope that the audience will have a deeper understanding of how a blended family really works.

Since this show aims to provide relevant information about having a blended family and inspire those who are in this kind of set up, the production company is now inviting those who are in a blended family to share their thoughts and experiences; their happiness and excitement; as well as their challenges, fears, and disappointments.

For those who are interested, just send an e-mail with family photographs and the individual photos of each family member. Interested participants also need to provide the job description of every member of the family and their story. They have to give good reasons why their family can be the perfect epitome of a blended family that can capture the hearts of the audience. Location and contact information should also be provided. The e-mail address is RVS.casting@yahoo.com.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that those who belong in a blended family can take advantage of. Aside from the fame and recognition, it’s also a chance for them to inspire others especially those who are in the same situation.

Updated website

We have updated the website, and will be making more changes over the coming weeks. We hope you enjoy the information coming from The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.