Supporting your family as a single parent can be difficult. It may even feel lonely. When you open yourself up to a new relationship after divorce, you also open yourself up to the chance of a blended family.
Blended families of two divorcees and their kids might seem like an overwhelming amount of work. With the right information and direction, though, you have the tools to make it smoother.
Understand how this affects your children
As Raising Strong Children Through Divorce details, children may react to a blended family differently, depending on their age.
- Older teenagers may prefer to separate their new family unit from their own identity
- Adolescents between 10 and 14 may struggle to balance expressing their feelings openly and the need to feel love and attention.
- Children younger than 10 may adjust more easily but may also compete more for your attention as a parent or stepparent
Understand how this affects you and your new spouse
Your routines as parents may clash and that requires a lot of communication to get ahead of any misunderstandings. Teach by example, but also remember that it is not your job to take care of everything the way it might have been as a single parent.
Understand your legal supports and procedures
As a divorcee, you may have seen the uglier sides of a relationship. Knowing that in advance prepares you to lay the foundation of something better. Prenuptial agreements and trusts or policies for your children and stepchildren are just a few of the tools at your disposal. Depending on your situation, these tools may help you enter your blended family future with more confidence.