Blending Families in a Second Marriage

They say love can be better the second (or third) time around, and while that may certainly be true, those marriages are not without their monumental challenges especially when there are children involved. Blending two families into one when each spouse has kids from a previous marriage takes patience from everyone involved and tons of communication and compromise.

If the kids are very little it makes things easier; the little ones merely know that their group of play pals has expanded by a couple new kids and that may seem fun. As kids get a little older, though, and certainly if they are anywhere near teenage years, a blended family can be a constant land mine of hurt feelings and competition. One simple rule to follow when starting out is for the adults to always present a united front to the kids. You will never gain authority over each other’s kids if you’re favoring the wishes of your own children or going back on your word in any way. Never argue in front of the kids and never say yes when your spouse said no. In the beginning it may be best for the biological parent of each child to do the lion’s share of the discipline for their own children and for the newer parent to ease into that role. Most importantly, set house rules that are applicable to all children, hold everyone to the same standard and treat all of the children equally and with the same amount of love, patience and respect.

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