What is a blended family? A blended family, a second family, bonus family or instafamous family is a family in which the biological parents have kids who aren’t either adopted or biologically related to either parent or spouse. No matter what the kids were raised in a single parent household they might be considered a blended family. One of my favorite books on the subject is by Robert McKenzie, who writes a new book called “The Man Who Invented Family Therapy”. In this book he interviews many people who have raised children in blended families and provides a plethora of tips for creating and maintaining a successful blended family.
The best tip he gives in his book is to get along. By getting along, you can build a stronger bond between the kids, you and your ex and you can find common ground on parenting issues. When you get along, it’s much easier to have healthy communication with each other.
Another great tip he gives is to never ever assume that because your biological parents and adopted children are from the same place it means they’ll get along. Kids from different households sometimes don’t get along and that can be quite damaging for everyone involved. The kids who’ve grown up in blended families know how their biological parents and adopted family members act and if they know that their adopted family members will get along they usually are much more peaceful and quiet.
Another tip for successfully starting a blended family is to always be sure that your biological parents and stepchildren get along. If they don’t now then don’t get them together. This will create tension between you and your new stepchildren or children. So always make sure that you and your ex are on the same page. You can start by having an open and honest discussion about what’s going on with your relationship, but you also need to make sure that your new stepchildren understand that you will be a part of their new home so you must get along.
One last thing that is very important when it comes to starting a blended family is the issue of child support. Many times when people start a family they try to take care of all of the expenses and so their ex-partner or stepparent has to end up paying child support. But if your biological parents and stepparent do not have the same understanding of child support laws in your state, this can cause problems for both parents and stepchildren. So it is important to try and keep it as simple as possible for everyone involved and when working with your stepparent make sure that you only pay your fair share of child support.
The key to a successful blended family is not knowing what to do with your biological family. Start by making sure that you talk to your stepparent and your parents about your new family. Make sure that they are understanding of your situation and that they are willing to work with you. If you stay calm and open and maintain transparency your stepparent and other children may begin to feel comfortable around you and will want to visit with you.