Second marriages are an amazing thing. Not only do you get to experience being in love and marrying that person again, but this time you also get to know you are with someone you love. You get the same first few years of excitement, a honeymoon and all of the things that went right in your first marriage. One difference is that in numerous second marriages one or both of the people getting married may have kids. Here are a few ways to help your new step child or step children adjust to you getting married, bond with you and also not get upset about the wedding.
Ideas and activities to encourage bonding with your new stepkids:
Take a trip somewhere secluded
One thing that I like to recommend is taking the kid on a trip camping or somewhere secluded you have no choice but to bond. Fishing, kayaking, white water rafting and other activities that you can do together for the weekend help. Something you may also want to try is finding outfits that match. You don’t want to spring it on the kid the right away because they may feel a bit odd about it, but once you have bonded and they now feel closer to you, the final night you can find matching pajamas or kids sleepwear to roast marshmallows in, get a telescope and look at the constellations. Then on the way home, stop and buy matching t-shirts, letting him or her pick them out so that they can have their own memory as well.
Another way to help your step kids adjust is to go out to dinner as a family. Instead of using a normal restaurant, try a family style one and let your new step child order for the table. Not only will he or she enjoy the additional responsibility, but when you tell them how good of a job they did, they may start to really let you into their hearts more.
One thing you need to remember with the trip or eating out is that if something does goes wrong, don’t act out. Because you are the step parent, anything negative or that could seem negative may have twice the affect on your new step kid because you are not the birth father or mother.
Reducing stress at the wedding
Now that the bond is completed with your step kids, it’s time to make the wedding day a bit easier. One of the best things to do is to try and get the kids as involved as they want to be and not force them into anything they don’t want to do. Here are a couple of ideas.
Step Mom to Step Daughter
Have your new Step Daughter join you for hair and make up. Buy a girls robe for her that is comfortable and make sure that your makeup artist and hair stylist focus just as much attention on her. You may also want to have some of her favorite fruits dipped in chocolate and a glass of sparkling grape juice for her if you’re having a glass of champagne.
This way you can make your wedding day into a bonding spa day and she’ll be just as happy and proud to walk down the aisle and welcome her new step mom.
This can be a tricky one. Just like with the step mom and step daughter, try to make him feel like a part of the day. If you and your friends are having breakfast out the morning of the wedding, bring junior along and treat him like one of the guys so he can feel like he fits in (age appropriately, of course). You’ll also want to make sure that you buy him a groomsman gift like your groomsmen, but put a special engraving on it just for him to let him know you care and that the day would not have been as special without him there.
Make sure your friends pay attention to him as much as you do and also make sure that you keep him involved in all stories and conversations.
Step Moms or Dads with a Step Child of the Opposite Sex
To help make the wedding day go smoother, you should have the Step Parent give the Step Child a very important task according to their age level and abilities. Have them walk people to their seats, hold onto the wedding rings (or a very similar looking pair), find the perfect places for a wedding photo and backdrop as well as see if the photographer will allow them to take a couple of photos or something else that makes them feel important. Giving your Step Child responsibility on your wedding day not only helps them feel grown up, but it also helps them feel like the wedding is also for them.
This can help many kids feel like they need to make the wedding perfect, instead of having feelings that they miss their old Mom or Dad.
Making sure your new Step Kids are ready to be a part of your wedding,and your new blended family, can take some work. Start by building a bond with them and have them start to welcome you into their lives. Then make them a part of the day or give them some responsibilities for the wedding. They will not only feel important, but they will be proud of the wedding and help make sure it runs smoothly.