Raising a blended family. Tips + Tricks

Our family is blended and it’s been this way for as long as any of us can even remember.

Through the years we have had many ups and downs but I’ve also learned a thing or two that have helped us along the way! I decided to compile a list of tips + tricks that have helped our blended family in hopes they may help yours too!

1. It’s all about the children– Every decision, no matter how big or small must revolve around the children. All of the children. { In our case that’s 5 children. 3 in our home full time, 1 in their home full time and our son who is blended between both homes. } We have to put our wants and needs aside and think about how it will affect each of them as they are each different and respond differently to all decisions. I think doing this ensures we aren’t being selfish in the decisions we make.

2. Making time between visits count– Soak in all the time you can with phone calls and face time in between visits. Even if it’s a quick call before a practice or a simple text before bed it keeps that relationship strong between the parents and siblings too. Schedules can be hectic, especially when there are two households but understanding that the time in between visits (for both sides) must be made makes the world of a difference in the relationships with all parties involved.

*We usually do a few phone calls and face time sessions weekly as well as multiple texts! We also recently sent a fun care package to be mailed full of snacks just to show we were thinking about him. Those simple things mean a lot to the kids and at the end of the day that’s what it’s about.

3. Flexibility– In the early years of coparenting it was hard to be flexible. Most of this derives from lack of respect and need for control. On both sides we witnessed time and time again where each of us chose not be flexible in certain situations which only made things worse in the end. If you have court ordered papers (we do) follow them as closely as you can to keep things stable for the children BUT there are times you need to be flexible. Maybe they have a weekend full of birthday parties and games therefore you decide to switch weekends? Maybe one of the households has a kid with a birthday that the child shouldn’t miss. A family vacation planned? Be as flexible as you can to ensure the child can make those memories with both families because that’s what’s important.

4. Understanding we all parent differently– I do agree to an extent that both families in two separate households should be on the same page about some things. Cell phones, getting a drivers license, curfew times perhaps but there has to be an understanding that each household will parent differently. Each household will contain their own set of rules and standards. The child understands that and knows what to expect but sometimes parents still get into confrontation over this because they expect the other parent to do just as they do in their own home. Let go of that and do what’s best for your home and trust they will do what’s best in theirs.

5. Communication– I feel it’s better to over communicate than to have a lack of communication. Send them the report card grades, tell them the events happening at school or on weekends and share the weekend photos when they are in your home. Maybe they don’t care? Maybe they didn’t ask for any of this? Maybe though, just maybe it will make them appreciate the effort on your end and respect you even more. Communicate with respect and respect the communication between the child and the parent.

6. Embrace the time together– Whether it’s a few days or a few weeks in between visits we always choose to embrace our time together by experiencing things we want to do with all of our children. This gives all of our kids something to look forward too and always makes the best memories. Things like going out for frozen yogurt, seeing that new movie that’s already been out or picking the berries at the patch. We do as much as we can when we are all together so each child feels included and makes those memories together. To me, that’s what they will remember growing up and that’s high priority in our home.

*Noted to add I do understand that not every single thing can be done together and there will be times the child misses out but I personally try to do everything as equal as possible because my view is that these four kids are all the same. They are all my children and all deserve the memories being made and the experiences that come with it. Not everyone will choose this path but in our home it works and I’ve come to see just how much our son who is in two households appreciates this as he has told me time and time again.

6. Make a photo book or send photos to an electronic device so the child can take a peek at those family photos anytime they choose. Sometimes they just need a few quick pictures to make them smile and tie them over until the next visit.

7. Give patience and grace between transition. Between each visit from one house to the other there is always an adjustment stage. As our son has gotten older it’s usually 24 hours but it used to take days. I understand how that can be frustrating but that’s only when you allow your expectations to be that high. Remove those expectations and give grace AND patience in the situation and see what a difference that will make. No matter how long the child has been blended going from house to house will always be an adjustment and respecting that and them will only better your situation. I also want to add that this applies for all children involved. We always see a transition period when Aiden leaves our home with his siblings because they immediately miss him and have to then readjust to him not being there full time. Again, grace and patience.

8. This is a given but yet so many do this anyways. Never ever speak ill of any parent, sibling or family member towards the child (and honestly ever 😉) Co-parenting takes a village and that village is made up of both households as well as those extended family members. Choose to respect one another and value them as the child does. Put your selfish ways aside and watch the situation better itself by simply doing what is right and what is best for the child.

After 10 years of coparenting and being apart of a blended family I still learn something new all the time but I am grateful for the mistakes we have learned from and the tips + tricks that I can share that just may help you or someone else in a blended family home.

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10 thoughts on “Raising a blended family. Tips + Tricks

  1. While we aren’t a blended family, I can definitely appreciate these tips! Your perspective & advice is always golden!

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