Photo: Thanks to Patrick on Flickr for the great photo.While there are many contributing factors to blended-family success, the strength of a couple’s relationship ultimately determines the family’s success. Here are four ways to strengthen blended-family relationships:
Stay ConnectedStay unified by having daily check-in chats. Schedule regular date times away from the children to keep the relationship solid, romantic and deeply connected.
Set realistic expectationsIt is not really possible to anticipate all the challenges that blended-families will find themselves negotiating. While blended families create a sense of family, they will not be the same as either family was before, but will be a construction of a new, different family.
Create your own unique family systemBlended families need time to come together and develop as a family. This process can be helped by creating special family traditions like a weekly movie night. Shared experiences help families connect and create their own identity.
CommunicateIt is important to learn how to communicate effectively so sensitive topics can be discussed as they arise. Effective listening and understanding will help to negotiate inevitable conflict. A strong couple relationship acts as the foundation for a blended family. Relationships, including the ups and downs, can be a rewarding adventure for you, your partner, and your new family.
Bibliography Eldermire, A. (2017, November 2). Seven Tips for Stepfamily Success. Retrieved November 14, 2017, from The Gottman Institute: https://www.gottman.com/blog/seven-tips-for-stepfamily-success/
Jenny Ensing is the Relationships Counsellor at Western Community Centre, Hamilton.