A blended family or stepfamily forms when you and your partner make a life together with the children from one or both of your relationships. The process of forming a new, blended family can be both a rewarding and challenging experience. While blending families is rarely easy, these tips can help your new family work through the growing pains.

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I feel like this one needs to start out with a disclaimer. Your mileage may vary! Caveat emptor! With that said, you may have noticed that there are a million or so books out there to tell you how to blend a family harmoniously. It all made sense. Four years after the divorce, I remarried. Eventually, of course, we told them we were dating, and then he asked them for their permission before he proposed to me.

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To that end we interviewed Huffington Post Canada contributor, best-selling author, and Co-parenting Coach Anna Giannone about how to help your blended family work towards harmony. Whether you are a mom, a dad, or a step-parent, these are tips that can lighten the load and help your family unit blossom. The end goal of any blended family is surely similar to that of any family — to find your way to a place of peace and productivity where every family member is heard and supported.

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Blended families are while becoming the new blending in our society. Here they are for you to read, glean, and use! Bringing two families to g ether is a long-term investment. Keep in mind that the divorce rate increases for people who get married a second time around.

Look at dating a family as a long-term goal rather than a quick fix. Research even shows that blending a family takes upwards to 5 years, so prepare yourselves for the long haul. In the early stages of the relationship, couples feel excited and spend a lot of time together.

Especially for those coming out of a loveless marriage, this feels wonderful. You go from divorced to in-love. You have hope for the future. Then you go from dating to re-married…. If you had a positive relationship with the child of your partner, it WILL get strained once you become a stepparent. People sometimes family a little sigh of relief. Parents of blended families question their level of discipline.

You walk into a new role. Do you discipline or do you remain a casual bystander? The strain from these relationship changes challenges blended families. Fun fact: I do this all the time with my patients. Because the second most common reason why I see patients starts from not having shared values. Couples of blended families come into my office. Often times people share a common list of values already, but the order of importance differs.

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For those with a monster list of values, typically only the top few on the list get our daily attention. Once you create a list of shared values, try to identify the top 3.

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Then make it tangible. Match those values to everyday actions — as an individual, as a couple, and as a blended family. Believe it or not, this exercise challenges people. Think of your shared list of values as the foundation on which to build your household rules. I recommend you cover these household rules before you get married:.

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In my experience working with blended families, moving into a brand new home is best. The reason behind building household rules relates back to the following concept. Toddlers, pre-teens, and adolescents all under the same roof.

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It takes an incredible amount of planning to make the roll-out of blended family rules successful, but determine those rules early and stick to them. I often hear the husband report that he sees his new wife stricter than he ever imagined. And dad responds by saying the same thing. Hence begins the dynamic stress of the blended family marriage. You will absolutely see your spouse in a different light once you officially blend your families.

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As a general trend, d have a harder time setting rules. In terms of guilt, d seem to carry more guilt from the stress of the divorce. Now he has a new marriage and all these new. Guilt drives a lack of follow through on rules.

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On the flipside, moms often carry multiple roles. Solve this discrepancy by talking about your parenting style to your spouse. Key questions to ask:. Whether you like it or not, blended families run on schedules. You better make some.

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Blended families need to schedule, at a minimum, space for these 4 things:. Question 4 is when couples stop and look at me in confusion. I understand. Off-weeks tend to become catch-up weeks from built up stress. You rarely make the best use of your time during off-weeks.

Many of my patients take a few hours to go do something as a couple — attend an event, movie, dinner — even on the nights they have their. Alone time also carries some dating health benefits, while. We blending that kids go through a lot of transitions throughout their childhood.

My advice is to create a ritual and routine around these transitions. Start by asking these 5 questions:.

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Every blended family has their transition plan based on their situation. After you establish this plan, start to create rituals and routines around getting the. I really encourage having family meetings at every transition. Use this as your time to check-in with your kids, even if you talk to them frequently on the phone during off-weeks.

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A family meeting strengthens your family and your marriage. Kids see that both parents are interested and invested in how everyone is doing. Everyone has a voice. Want a healthy marriage? Ex-girlfriend or ex-wife, or ex-husband or ex-boyfriend. Manage your negative feelings around them. Communicate with them consistently.

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Establish this from the get-go, family if they communicate poorly. Negative speaking sets a bad example for your kids and weakens your marriage. Time is so incredibly limited in a blended family. If you need to talk about something an ex did, talk about it briefly and intensely. Then move on. Those sort of comments should be avoided at all costs. What that statement instantly does is make your spouse feel like needing to keep up with the Joneses. From gifts, trips, vacations and everything in between, trying to keep up with your ex is always a losing battle.

Plus it causes friction in your marriage. Kids with divorced parents will frequently see one parent as wealthier or more relaxed and the other as poorer or stricter. Anywhere that a kid can split parents and dichotomize the situation is unhealthy. This is while having values very grounded comes to your rescue.

Step 1 : Acknowledge that you are two datings with your two histories coming together.

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Step 2 : Discuss some old traditions that you want to continue doing. Step 3 : Determine if you want to make new traditions. Anything is fair game as far as traditions go. Is there a song you listen to every Christmas Eve? What does the tooth fairy leave under the pillow?

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How do you celebrate birthdays? Maintaining traditions respects and honors the lives you lived before you and your spouse got married. Get started.

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Open in app. Dr Sheryl Ziegler. in Get started. Get started Open in blending. Understand that blending a family requires dating Bringing two families to g ether is a long-term investment. Prepare for relationship changes If you had a positive relationship with the child of your partner, it WILL get strained once you become a stepparent. Create a shared list of values with your while family Fun fact: I do this all the time with my patients.

Build household rules Think of your shared list of values as the foundation on which to build your household rules. I recommend you cover these household rules before you get married: Whose house will we move into?

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