Raising a Blended Family? Five Tips to Help New Siblings Get Along

Raising a Blended Family? 5 Tips to Help New Siblings Get Along

Raising the Blended Family

Raising a family after a separation or divorce is no easy feat – it’s a trying and challenging process for everyone involved.  Family life following separation or divorce is understandably difficult, and even more so in the case of remarriage or blended households.

 

Joining two families can be a tumultuous time, especially for the children involved. Children in these blended families can feel resentful, angry, frustrated and jealous. These are all normal emotions and feelings, especially when the new family structure involves children on both sides of the relationship. The dynamic, the people and the relationship are all new – the adults and children will need time to adjust to the new family structure. 

 

Blending two families is an ongoing process that honestly, takes a lifetime of adjustments and reflection to truly work. I’ve found that with compassion, consistency and patience, blended families can be successful. Here are my simple tips for raising the blended family! 

Ease into New Living Arrangements

New siblings require a period of slow and gradual acclimation before living together full-time. When joining households,

it’s absolutely imperative that parents slowly ease the family into life together. Start small – with dinner, a movie, a hike, 

and other short-term activities together. Slowly increase the amount of time spent together at reasonable increments 

(i.e. a day, a weekend, a week, etc). When combining families, it’s always best to go slow and stedy to allow the children 

adequate time to transition into the new family structure.

 

 

Set Consistent House Rules and Boundaries

When two families finally move in together, there should be a consistent and practical set of rules for all children in the household. When a child’s environment or major familial structure changes, they have the tendency to rebel or push the limits in the new structure. Children, especially new siblings, need guidance, rules and structure to learn how to operate in their new environment. 

 

While it might feel like you’re constantly correcting bad behavior, it’s necessary to stay consistent and fair when it comes to rules and consequences. A baseline of expectations should be established from the get-go to avoid unnecessary confrontation or feelings of resentment. With consistentcy and a fair approach to rules and consequences, kids will eventually feel more at ease in the new living situation.

Allocate Personal Space and Respect Privacy

In a new blended family structure, children need personal space to process their feelings and emotions in a healthy way. 

Parents should allocate a personal space for each child so they have a sense of privacy and ownership of space. When children don’t have access to a private space, they tend to feel overwhelmed and overstimulated, which can lead to conflict in the household. By establishing boundaries about individual space and privacy, family members have the opportunity to reflect, think and process their emotions in a constructive way.

Encourage Family Time

At the end of the day, a blended family is still a family. Relationships and connections are often strengthened through family 

time and experiences together. It’s important to allocate time every single day for family time, whether it be dinner, game night or going on a walk together. This is a time to build a bond between parents and children or step-children, as well as between 

step-children. To make family time fun, find common ground between children or similar interests, or you can try something 

completely new to all family members. When together as a group, be sure to acknowledge each child and take time to listen 

and interact with them on an individual basis. When each child feels acknowledged they’re more likely to accept the new family structure and to establish bonds with their new siblings and step-parent.

Be Patient

Patience is the most important aspect of this entire journey. Building a family takes time and parents should model patience

and love every step of the way. Give love, but also allow each child time to reciprocate that love. Remember, slow and steady 

wins the race. This is a major change for everyone involved, and it takes time and patience to build something beautiful!

ABOUT ME

Minimalist Mama is a curated story of mamahood, minimalism and simple living.

Portia Owens

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