In our world today, “blended families” are the norm. Learning how to cope with two sets of parents, two houses, two sets of rules and all the other changes that come with it, is hard on the kids. Everyone knows that divorce is hard on children, but so is trying to create a “new” family from two broken ones.
Children are asked to live in a constant changing environment when placed in a new blended family. So many things change. Who is “Mommy” and “Daddy” and in which house do I have to call the step parent that? Can I have my own room in the new family, or do I have to share with another kid? Do I get a choice, anyway?
Children have so many questions and are often either not answered or put off until things are calmer. Things are NEVER calmer to them until they get answers!
When parents and step-parents give the children some decision-making power, things will go smoother. Talk to them about the changes before hand. Give them time to ask questions. Let them have a say in SOMETHING. They will respond.
Also, kids are smarter than most adults give them credit for. Inform them of the events leading up to the changes coming their way. You do not have to share everything about the divorce or how crazy the other parent is acting, but give them credit for already having a clue that things are not the way they used to be.
Talk to your children. Treat them with respect and love. Give them a say in the decision-making if at all possible and listen when they talk. They will make the transition easier and you will too!