We all know the story of the lovely lady and a man named Brady who fell in love, blended their families and lived happily ever after. If only life were as simple as a 1970s sitcom. Blending two families is a difficult, scary and rewarding experience. As adults we tend to think on a big picture level, forgetting that our children see the world in micro-moments. Where for them, choosing the wrong sock to wear can upset their whole day. It is important to take a step back and put ourselves into their shoes to ensure that finding love and joining two families creates a healthy and happy union. What steps are needed to create this fusion of personalities, ages and emotions? Patience. Love. Fortitude.
Hoping with all your might that upon meeting her kids, your daughter welcomes them with open arms is truly setting yourself up for an ugly awakening. Yes, that situation would be ideal and easy for you, but unfortunately, it is not always realistic. It took time for you to fall in love. You made sure that you got to know all of the intricate details of your partner. Time and patience were the keys to your relationship.
Both you and your mate need to give the same respect and time to develop a relationship with each other’s children. And ensure that you give your children the same space and time, so that they do not feel pressured or rushed to connect with their new siblings immediately. Relationships take time.
You love her. So naturally you will love her kids. But you don’t. In fact you find her kids demanding and whiny. You start to wonder how this strong, beautiful woman has raised such spoiled children. The moment you start to go there with your thoughts, is also the moment you need to get a grip emotionally and logically.
There is an excellent chance that her kids are not feeling all warm and fuzzy towards you or your kids either. Each member of this new family is scared that the life they once knew is now gone. The joining of two families under one roof requires a special type of love that is rooted in patience.
Before the battle of wills ensues, before the yelling, name-calling, door slamming and tears begin; remember each of your feelings are significant. Listen to their fears, thoughts and concerns, not only with your ears and mind, but also with your heart. As parents, it is your duty to remain resilient during this transition. Set the example for which your children will emulate.