Establishing a new blended-family home requires flexibility and compromise. Family members often have conflicting preferences regarding schedules, mealtimes, holiday traditions, and more.
Avoid setting ultimatums, which may cause children to feel resentful. Instead, allow a slow transition and be open to discussing different options with your partner.
Create a Shared Living Area
If there’s one tip for blended families, it’s to encourage communication. Misunderstandings can lead to anger and frustration, especially when children feel their concerns are ignored.
It is essential to create a shared living area where everyone can come together and discuss their concerns in a safe space. This can include a family meeting or a weekly family game night where you can focus on bonding as a unit and building trust.
It’s also essential to create a neutral space so that each family feels comfortable in their own room. This can include incorporating decor or artwork from each family’s heritage to help them feel more at home in their new area. You can also establish rituals that are unique to your blended family to bring everyone together. This can include old traditions like reading bedtime stories or creating new ones like playing Sunday board games.
Make Every Child’s Room Their Own
If a child has been used to having their room and suddenly shares one with a sibling, it is common for that to cause tumultuous emotions. Create dividers in shared rooms with curtains or inventive rearrangements of furniture to give each child the sense that their area of the house is their own. It can also help if each child has a special place to keep items like books, toys, or art supplies. Kids of all ages need individual attention and regular “alone time” with their parents.
Make a calendar of visitation schedules available for children old enough to use cell phones to stay on top of their parents’ and step-parents’ schedules. Establishing a culture of open communication is essential to blended family success. Make it a point never to disparage a co-parent or their parenting methods. That is just asking for trouble and could end up causing conflict between siblings or even the whole family.
Establish Rules for the Home
When you establish a home, it is essential to set rules. This can help with jealousy, sibling rivalry, and territorialism. Creating family rules can also help with routines and bedtimes. Establishing some basic rules about respect for one another is also a good idea.
Make sure that both you and your partner agree on the rules. This is especially important if there are differences in parenting styles. It is best to avoid discussing these differences in front of the children, as this can lead to conflict and tension.
Make sure you spend time with each child individually and try to do this regularly. This can help them to feel loved and cared for. Also, ensure you have regular family meetings where everyone can discuss anything they may be struggling with. These meetings can help you to establish trust within the new family.
Create a Shared Kitchen
A shared space can be an excellent place for families to come together. Designing a kitchen that works for everyone in the family is a meaningful way to create a sense of unity. Using neutral colors and decor helps keep the kitchen feeling like home for all family members.
When designing the kitchen, it is essential to consider how each person uses the space and what they want to see changed or added. It is also necessary to consider how the kitchen will be used as a space for family gatherings and holidays.
Family members need to communicate openly and regularly. This will help to prevent misunderstandings and foster a healthy relationship between parents and stepchildren, as well as between siblings and step-siblings. Family meetings can also be an excellent way to start new family rituals and traditions, giving the blended family its unique identity.
Create a Shared Bathroom
When designing a home for a blended family, it’s essential to create spaces that encourage communication. This may mean creating a space where everyone can sit and talk or a common area where families can spend time together.
Just like estate planning for blended families can be challenging, it can also be gratifying. By taking the time to establish a new family routine and focusing on creating strong bonds between all members of the household, you can make your blended family life successful.
With one in three marriages ending in divorce and many divorced couples remarrying, blended families are becoming increasingly common. Whether you are a member of a blended family or are planning to purchase a home for a blended family, following these tips can help you make the transition as smooth and enjoyable as possible.
Establish a Shared Bedroom
Often, blended families have children of different ages sharing a room. Whether it’s due to economic circumstances (such as living on one income or being unable to afford two separate homes) or because of custody considerations, a shared bedroom can be an effective way for a family to bond and work together.
To make the most of this arrangement, consider creating a neutral space with decor that can accommodate multiple family styles. Additionally, you may want to incorporate a few personal touches that reflect each family’s individuality and uniqueness.
Be sure to keep communication open and respect each child’s feelings. It’s also important to spend time alone with each child so that they know how much you love them. However, it’s also tactful to avoid overt displays of affection as some children, especially those in their twenties and teens, may find them unsettling or gross.