4 Suggestions for Smooth Living with Blended Families

Advice for Blending Families

Blending two families together as one can prove to be challenging, especially when different personalities and needs come into play. With children entering the equation on both sides and different parenting styles suddenly merging, it's important to make sure everyone's feelings, needs and wants are taken into consideration before moving in together. 


Read about one of our contributor’s experiences with Blending Families.


Preparing to live together as a family means discussing finances, making sure everyone has their own space, and/or preparing children for the big change in one way or another. Here are some suggestions for making the transition of becoming a blended family as smooth as possible.


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Advice for Blending Families


1. Hash Out Child-Rearing Approaches

Different attitudes on child rearing can make or break a home. Not everyone has the same parenting style. While some parents are considered "pushovers," allowing their children to get and do whatever they want (with no ability to say "no,") other parents are a bit more disciplined. When two people with different child-rearing approaches come together as one blended family, it can be difficult when an incident occurs with their children.

To keep everyone on the same page, it's important to discuss child-rearing techniques and approaches before you move in together. Indeed, it makes for a much more peaceful home. Remember, children need consistency, so try to address this important issue as soon as possible. You don’t want to have to learn your new partner's child rearing stance the hard way. 


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2. Ensure Everyone Has Their Own Space

Blending d├ęcor is one of the many challenges facing soon-to-be blended families, but it's completely doable. If it's within your budget, consider letting each child have their own room, which can go a long way in helping smooth out living situations and making sure everyone gets along with each other. It can also help to let your children decorate their own space and put their own stamp on it. This can help them feel a sense of belonging. 

When it comes to designing and outfitting a child's bedroom, consider any number of bedroom sets that show off your children's style and personality. Whether you decide to shop online or head to one of their stores, you'll be able to find all that you need to truly make your new house feel like home for everyone. Be sure to include the child in the process. It’s a fun family experience and can help a new parent bond with their step children.


3. Discuss Your Finances

Before you become a blended family, discuss how you'll manage your finances. Will you keep separate bank accounts and split the bills down the middle? Or, will you have a joint bank account to which you'll each contribute? Think about how you'll handle spending, especially if one partner makes more than the other. It’s always a good idea to keep some finances separate, particularly if you both have full-time careers and are used to spending your money your way. It’s always good to create a joint account for mutual household expenses.

Will one partner need to consult the other before making a large purchase? If so, what amount constitutes a large purchase? Will you have to discuss purchases when it comes to your children or will you have the freedom to decide how you spend your money on them? To avoid arguments in the future, these are some things you should think about before you blend your families together. 


4. Prepare Your Children for the Move

If you want things to go smoothly once the big day arrives, making sure your children are prepared for the move is essential. Let them know ahead of time when and what will happen, so they'll be better equipped to handle the changes ahead. Sit down with your children and discuss the move so they can express their feelings about it.

While you're not exactly asking their permission, it's important to let them know that their feelings and concerns are valid and that you'll help them sort through them if they feel overwhelmed or anxious about their new living situation. Talk about the new routine and let them know you won't love them any less with new children coming into the picture. Be sure to remind them they'll still have a space to call their own- and make sure they do, even if it is a little nook in your dining room!


You might also want to prepare your pets for a life change.


Preparing to Blend Families

Blending families is rarely easy, if ever, but taking the above steps into consideration can help make the transition a bit easier for everyone involved. It also helps keep the peace and ensure everyone is on the same page so that you can work together to create a smooth living situation for the entire family.



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Lora is a homeschooling mom, writer, creator of Kids Creative Chaos, and Director of the Play Connection.