I never quite understood what a blended family really was until I watched the movie Blended with Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore. I cried and laughed and thoroughly enjoyed it because that was me. I was the perfect example of a blended family and I experienced so many struggles and triumphs over the years. Some of the things I have learned:
- Communication is so important when blending families. Misunderstandings are the biggest pitfall. You need to communicate with your spouse and the children on boundaries and expectations and don’t back down from that.
- Understand that you may not always be right. It is in a parents nature to believe them over anyone but sometimes they are clever and will tell you lies and make you distrust your spouse. Think about all the evidence and investigate first. There is a possibility that the kid is trying to put a wedge. I don’t mean all kids do this and sometimes it isn’t intentional but they are going to test their boundaries as well. Show a united front.
- Don’t argue in front of the kids. They don’t need to feel the tension between their parents all the time. Especially if it is a disagreement about the children. Make sure you are always united in front of the kids if you don’t agree with something they are doing or saying then say it in private.
- Be understanding, things won’t always be perfect you have to be willing to be open to other ways of doing things and say something when you don’t agree.
- Never ever throw it in the other persons face that they aren’t the real parent or anything like that because that stings more than anything. That goes for either side. If you are making a life together it isn’t about blood it is about unity before anything. The children are the ones who get hurt every time there is a divorce or separation.
- Last, People need to remember that the children matter most and relationships that are blended shouldn’t be taken lightly. Everything the adults feel from the nervous first date feelings to the falling in love all the way to the happy ending or to the fights and the breakups and the final ending. The kids go through that each and every time mommy or daddy bring someone new in and that needs to be considered always.