My Daughter Doesn’t Like My Spouse, Now What?
As the number of blended families increases, more and more mothers are asking this question. According to The Step Family Foundation, over 1300 new blended families are forming every day. That means divorced couples are remarrying, single parents are getting married, and lesbian and gay couples are forming new relationships with children from previous ones. As a parent how would you respond, or even as a friend? Relationships are already a touchy subject, factor in a child and it becomes “complicated.” Is there a way around it, is the question?
New relationships are exciting and if there are butterflies it’s easy to get side tracked. The fact is, you’re a single mother, with an opinionated daughter and you’re dating a man who isn’t her father. You can expect there to be bumps in the road. Are you prepared; are they?
4 Things You Should Know About Blended Families
Blended Families Takes Time
.We want things to happen quickly and we want as few hiccups as possible. You aren’t the only one adjusting. Your daughter is adjusting to your spouse, and your spouse is adjusting to her. And, it’s important to understand that blending families takes time. According to experts, it can take between two and five years for a blended family to fall into a groove of normalcy. I am going to take a leap here and say that the age of your child will play a huge role in how long the adjustment takes. Your daughter’s age could cause her to be more resistant to the change.
Your family can overcome this hurdle by first accepting that it takes time, and by creating individual relationships. Allow your daughter to build a bond with your spouse. Their relationship will soften her dislike for him and the situation. In many cases, children just want to feel heard and seen. Provide her the platform for expressing how she feels and fostering a positive relationship with your husband.
Blended Families Require Planning
When merging a blended family, it’s good practice to discuss roles. Specifically, the roles each of you will play in the home. Both parents will need to map our their roles in the child’s development and discipline. The best way to overcome hurdles is to anticipate them and then put a plan in place that will prevent things going awry. The reality is that households where the children share the same parent biologically have problems, so you can expect that blended families will have their share as well. However, if you can prevent it with a plan, do so.
Blended Families Should Spend Time
You have to start your blended journey in a manner that you can sustain. Find activities that you all can do as a family; create a positive environment, one of laughter and fun. Family time leads to memories that you will be able to look back on for years to come. Spending time together also reinforces togetherness.
Blended Families Should Communicate
Communication is key. You and your spouse should communicate, and you both should communicate with your daughter. The same should take place with you and her father. The more open the dialogue, the greater the understanding among all parties involved. Make time to talk with your spouse one-on-one and do the same thing for you daughter. Do all you can to ensure that your house is a safe space for sharing and that they all feel comfortable sharing with you. All families are different, you will have to take this information and apply to your own household the way you see fit. The proof that blended families work lies in the 1300 new ones that are formed every day. It just takes effort from everybody, you, your daughter and your spouse. And, any issues you have won’t disappear overnight. Remain patient and do the work.
What advice would you give a new blended family?