Blended family advice is where you find it
Blended family advice typically comes from people just like you and me, navigating their way through the fast-flowing river of furious fragility which so often is part and parcel of the blended family. We each have something to offer our fellow step family travelers. We have nothing to lose and everything to gain by asking and answering questions, seeking and offering blended family advice, and by sharing our thoughts and feelings about the challenges of building one blended family out of unrelated parts.
Work at your marriage to help your blended family
If you want to do something positive to help your kids adapt to and benefit from step family life, work at your marriage. This piece of blended family advice focuses on the painfully true fact that the long-term success of your blended marriage is terribly important to your kids and your step kids. It is true, whether they realize it or not, and regardless of whether they even secretly wish it does fail! You owe it to yourself and to your kids to interact effectively and meaningfully as a couple, so that your marriage, the center of your blended family, is up to the job. A close and loving relationship deserves the energy and effort it takes to keep it alive. Make date night a mainstay of your schedule, and cancel this special time together only under catastrophic circumstances. The whole idea is to re-create the wonderful feelings of love and longing to be together that made you want to marry in the first place!
Say goodbye to your previous marriage
It is difficult to be wholly invested in your new relationship if you are still carrying around feelings from your previous one. While the terms death and divorce both sound so final, the familiar emotions, fears, and expectations that linger often interfere with truly living in the present. It helps to take a clear-eyed look at your old relationship, and recognize what you have lost. Grieving is important aspect of getting past either death or divorce, so do not try to opt out of the experience. This is an excellent time to look at things you wish you had known, done or said; look at things you might have done differently. These realizations can help you avoid repeating the same mistakes in your new relationship, and make it easier to separate the things your new spouse does from the things your former spouse used to do!
Set clear and reasonable boundaries
Setting boundaries benefits everyone in your blended family, including extended family members like ex-spouses. Examples of physical boundaries could include the master bedroom being off limits, or food and drinks being allowed only in the kitchen or dining room. Behavioral boundaries might define curfews, household chores, and restrictions on disrespectful or abusive language. Setting clear emotional boundaries for an ex-spouse who habitually calls just to chat or to ask for advice about personal problems can remind you and your blended family partner who is and who is not entitled to your emotional support, and help the ex-spouse accept a new reality. The topic of setting boundaries is high on the list of helpful methods of building a blended family that works.
Keep reading blended family advice
Keep reading step family advice, and keep searching for quotes about blended families that speak to you and your blended family situation. The task of managing a blended family is a challenge, and no one person has all the answers. Stay engaged, and stay open to ideas and suggestions to help your step family grow into a mutually supportive and loving family unit that is home to the people you love.
If you need additional assistance, contact The Blended and Step Family Resource Center for help.