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Blended families are almost replacing the nuclear family these days. If you’re in your forties or fifties, you could be looking around to find that a lot of your friends are divorcing, and already re-marrying. But, of course, many of them had children with their exes, and their new spouses have children with their exes. Everyone’s going in for round two of building a family, but this time, it’s not quite as clean and simple (not that building a family ever really is). When you have a child with a significant other, you and that partner just have to get used to your child. That child knows no other parent, so she adapts to you pretty quickly. She has that strong biological bond thing going on with you, too. But when you take on someone else’s child, not only do you have to get used to being that kid’s parent but he has to adjust to you. And you may be far from what he’s used to. If you’re building a blended family, here’s what to expect.

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Coming together on parenting strategies

You’ve had your way of parenting your kids and your partner has had his way of parenting his kids. But if each set of kids has their own set of rules, the home will be chaos; children will constantly complain, “How come he gets to do that and I don’t?” So you’ll have to come up with new strategies you can both agree on. This can take months.

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