What you need to hear before you decide to create a blended family

  1. Everyone will not be happy


While you and your new spouse may be blissfully happy it is important to recognize that most of the other members of the family are probably not approaching this transition from the same emotional place. It is important to not only recognize this but also behave accordingly. Too much enthusiasm or excitement in the face of other people’s emotional turmoil is a quick way to compromise all of your relationships with your own children and potential stepchildren.


  1. Just because you love your spouse does not mean everyone else in the situation has to love each other.


This is a great blog post on the issue that suggests you “aim for respect not love” between members of a blended family. That is not to say that love may not eventually develop but there is no use in trying to force love. Imagine if you had no control over the situation but someone was asking you to unconditionally love a random peer of yours without regard to possible conflicting personalities or lack of mutual interests. It is crucial that you have reasonable expectations.


  1. Becoming a step parent is one of the most complex roles in life


In order to successfully earn the trust and respect of stepchildren you must treat the situation with incredible sensitivity. Seeking to replace an existing parent will ensure your failure in bonding with you stepchildren. Your relationship is entirely unique. Do not try to fit it into a preexisting parental mold. In most cases, the children already have two parents and your role is more of a mentor, supporter, or role model than that of a parent.

STAY UP TO DATE

Subscribe to our newsletters

 
Subscribe to one or more of our newsletters, delivering meaningful insight on topics that matter to you and your family.

FURTHER READING

Latest Blog Posts

There are various ways to plan for the handling of your remains after death, as we discussed in Part I of “How to Handle Remains in Washington State.” What option you choose will likely turn on some combination of your…

Death is a part of life. Like taxes, there's no avoiding it. Also, like taxes, you may not like thinking or talking about the subject. However, if you think about death and how to handle your remains from a planning…

Every child deserves love, stability, and consistency. Is there a child in your life that you have considered adopting, perhaps because they are the child of your spouse or a child you are fostering? Perhaps there is an adult in…

The thought of losing your home or its contents in a disaster is a scary thought. Loss of life, destruction of irreplaceable items such as home movies, photos, and heirlooms make it unconscionable. But as we know in life, sometimes…

Spoiler alert: If you’re doing everything around the house (or at work) because you’re living (working) with a bunch of incompetent fools, or so they’ve led you to believe they are, you’re being manipulated. So pervasive is this phenomenon, there’s…

If you've created an estate plan, you've already spent a good deal of time thinking about what will happen to you if you become sick, incapacitated, or die, including where you will go (literally) when you die. After all, you don't want your…

If you're 18 or older and live in Washington State, you can legally change your name to anything you want as long as you're not doing so to commit fraud. For example, if your goal is to change your name to evade…

Your estate plan should ensure your special needs child experiences the best quality of life they can, that the assets upon which they will rely will last as long as possible during their lifetime, and that their eligibility for public services will be maximized. Learn more.

Popular culture is using the moniker "America's daughter" to describe Gabby Petito because she could've been any of our daughters. Learn how to talk to your daughter about the signs of domestic abuse.

When a couple decides to divorce, and one spouse is unable to support themselves, spousal support becomes a hot-button issue. Learn how to mitigate conflict and move forward.