Starting a Blended Family: Here’s How to Make It Work 2021

Updated: April 16, 2021

A viable blended family results from planning and understanding. The most important guiding decision for both parents should be to minimize conflict and insecurity for the children, and you can work everything else out from there.

1. Defining Your Goals For a Blended Family

Before choosing the steps to build a stable and peaceful blended household, it’s important to set goals. There are logistics to work out. These can include where to live and even the basics like different room arrangements, as well as coordinating schedules so that your children see their other parent and don’t have big changes to their current timetable.

2. Schedule

Schedule mutual opportunities for your kids and your partner’s kids to meet and interact in public first. This should occur at staggered times and should not force them to feel any friendship or kinship bond. Such bonds develop over time.

3. Transition

Transition to spending time together at your home or your partner’s home once all children are ready. Don’t force them to make the best of it just to please you.

4. Reassure

Reassure all children that you will still love them and be their dedicated parent after moving in together with the new family. Be extra attentive and aware of any insecurities your child might be experiencing.

5. Don’t expect

Don’t expect children to think of a new partner as a parent. If you get married, the stepparent and stepchild bond will build naturally over time. It can’t be forced. Another possibility is that your child will ask to live more often with his or her other parent because this family feels like too much change. A gradual approach allows time for a child to adapt to a new living situation.

6. Don’t let your ex

Don’t let your ex or your partner’s ex dictate what the new family will look like or what your joint living conditions will be. You have the right to build your own household the way that works best for your new family.

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