Thinking of marrying again? While this is a lovely concept, remarriage with kids after divorce needs to be thought through. If you’ve already been though a rough divorce or your spouse has died, it gets complicated when children are involved. Remarriage and children gets even more complicated if your groom also has kids. While many single parents assume their lives will get easier once they remarry, this is not always the case. Children often cling to the idea that mom and dad will get back together, no matter how ludicrous the idea seems to you. Since this idea can make remarriage with kids tough, and blending families even tougher. There are things you can do to help things along. First piece of potential step parenting advice is to remember the letters S-T-E-P:
S: Slow Down
Do not–repeat do not–rush your children into liking your new flame. If you’re dating someone, the person doesn’t need to be introduced to your children unless you are sure he or she is a “the real deal.” The children won’t understand the concept of “we’re just friends” unless they’re older, and even then, they will view every date as a potential replacement for Mom or Dad.
T: Talk to Someone
Talk to a professional counselor, your clergyman or a wise friend, preferably one who’s already been through it. Listen to what these people have to say and apply some of their advice to your own situation. It’s also a great idea to have long talks with your kids and gauge how they feel about what’s happening.
E: Expect Challenges
Understand that your children want to reunite their original family. Give them time to grieve. Surprisingly enough, older children often need more time to grieve than younger children. Keep in mind that they must grieve the loss of a dream, which is often more difficult than grieving due to death. Healing takes time, as does forming new relationships. Remember this and allow your children to take all the time they need. Trying to force them into anything is only going to make the situation worse.
No one is saying it’s impossible to have a happy blended family, but it’s going to take some time to get to that Brady Bunch place, if it ever does. Prepare for some challenging days ahead, though if you practice patience and always listen to your children, such days definitely won’t last forever.
Keep these tips in mind when seeking to blend your family, and good luck!