Adjusting to a Blended Family
The decision to blend families is made out of love and care. However, the transition can be quite difficult, especially if adolescent children are involved. Ottawa Counselling Services offer the following suggestions to help with adjusting to a blended family:
Take it Slow
Children can become unsettled if there are many drastic changes in a short period of time. For this reason, consider taking things slow. Do not rush to move in together or remarry. Children adjust better when they are given time to settle into small changes. Major changes that completely upset the only life they have known can be quite overwhelming, so keep this in mind.
Give it Time to Build Connections
You may expect your partner’s children to take a while to grow affection toward you, but you may be surprised that it also takes you longer than you’d expect to feel affection for them. Don’t be hard on yourself – it takes time to build love and affection and does not happen overnight. Let it happen naturally and do not try to force the connection.
Live Real Life
When you try to force the connection, there is a tendency to spoil children and live a lifestyle that cannot endure. Pizza every night and late bedtimes might persuade children in the short-term, but it doesn’t contribute to building a sustainable family life. Blended families should learn to experience everyday life together – and that includes homework, chores, and family rules.
Foundation of Respect
Especially if there are personality conflicts, it can be easy to let emotions control interactions. Nip this in the bud early and insist on a foundation of respect. Love and stability will grow with time, but respect is essential from day one.
Don’t Expect Miracles
No matter how much you may want your blended family to get along perfectly from the beginning, it’s unlikely to happen quickly. Every family member deserves time to adjust to the changes and get comfortable at their own pace. Remember that the little investments you make through the early days and months will pay dividends in due time.
A qualified family therapist can equip your family with the tools to effectively communicate and learn how to adjust to the new situation. Ottawa Counselling Services can address your family issues with sensitivity and care. Empower each member of your blended family with support from a family therapist.
With these recommendations from Ottawa Family Counselling Services, your blended family can start a happy life together based on healthy communication and respect.