Making your blended families blend at first can be tough. You and your new spouse each have children of your own, the ages vary, and trying to create that family atmosphere can be super tough at first. Blending families has its own set of challenges associated, so we’re here to help you find out what works. Start with shared interests and work your way down until your new family, is stronger than ever. It’s tougher than it sounds, but the reward in the end— is sweeter as can be.
Making Blended Families Blend: Creating Bonds
First things first, come up with a schedule
Sit everyone down, together, and come up with a schedule. John has basketball on Tuesdays. Anna has ballet on Thursday. Marco has math club after school on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Stepmom has book club on Saturday Morning. And Dad has bowling team on Friday night. Any and all commitments, go onto one calendar and in a central place. Encourage your children to know what’s going on in each other’s lives. The first step to making blended families blend is getting everyone well acquainted with each other.
When making that schedule, fit in family time
Everyone likes to think that family time will happen organically. But, with multiple kids, schedules, and age ranges— it’s not so easy. So, when you make your calendar, figure it in. Maybe Sunday mornings are reserved for family breakfast and board games. If you put the time into the schedule, and make sure everyone is clear on it— there’s no ‘oh I made plans with Becca’, or the like. You can skip that step ahead of time by putting it on the schedule.
Maintain uniform rules in the household
You have two sets of kids you’ve raised in two sets of ways. But, each parent having to adopt different parenting styles from one set of kids to the other can cause a multitude of problems. No new step parent wants to run into the ‘well dad gives me two hours of tv time’. It’s better to set ground rules for this new family. Remember, you are creating a new family when blending together. While the other ones are still intact, a new family comes with new rules. When you sit down to make a schedule, set the new ground rules too. Knocking this out in one fell swoop will reduce the headaches down to one night.
Find an activity everyone enjoys
That planned family time can be any time, and any activity. Find something everyone enjoys together, and make that the new tradition. You want this family time to be something everyone looks forward to and can use as a means of bonding and getting to know each other. Maybe one week you do paintball, the next you go hiking, and the week after that you go to the movies. Keep it exciting and have fun! The growing pains are tough from time to time, but in the end— it’s worth it