How does one work out the dynamics of a blended family, especially when adult children are involved?
This can be a tricky proposition.
Why? Because everyone has their own lives, their own preferences and their own opinions. They are the ones in charge of how they spend their time and especially whom they spend it with.
How to Manage a New Blended Family Relationship with Your Adult Children
If your children don’t approve of your new relationship, then you are sure to know it. Because they will be either vocal or they will be distant.
Blended families with adult children have many challenges, but these can be mitigated with the right strategies.
Spend Time with Your Adult Children
The first time is to maintain a relationship with each individual and give him or her attention.
Try to establish a practice of doing things together. If you already have a ritual, then maintain it. Don’t miss your Sunday brunches with your daughter, to spend them with your spouse.
Maintain that tradition and your bond will be stronger for it.
You live with your spouse so you can easily find other times to be together.
Encourage your spouse to spend time also with his adult children. A normal parent-adult child relationship requires a different kind of work than if they were still children.
Dissuade Your Adult Children’s Fears
Your child will have fears. No matter how old they are, there will be concerns about how someone else will affect your relationship with them.
Yes, a bit of jealousy will be lurking about.
These fears are different depending on the person and their relationship with you, but some are similar to everyone else’s.
At its core, what people fear is change and they also fear the unknown. Children, no matter their age, fear that you will not want them anymore. They fear that you will live your life with this new person and ignore them.
If you are a widow or widower, then there is a different dynamic.
They fear that you have moved on too quickly or that you didn’t love your spouse enough. They fear that you will forget your previous marriage and the memories you created.
This is normal.
Talk to Your Adult Children
Communication is important in every relationship.
To minimize the effects of bringing these adult kids into a blended family, keep them informed.
One of the best strategies is to start talking to them from early about how serious you are about your new partner.
So that when you do decide to get married, it is not a shock to them.
When you talk to them, let them know that this new relationship does not affect you spending time with them. Also, try to understand what fears and concerns they have.
During your marriage to your new partner, do not become so absorbed in your partner, that you ignore your adult children.
Keep in touch or call as often as you did before.
Maintain an Environment of Respect for Your Spouse and Your Child
If your adult child is resistant, then things can get a bit tense when they visit your home.
So lay down the law before they do.
Not only does your relationship with your child depend on it, but so too does your new marriage.
Regardless of your child’s opinion, worries or fears, as the biological parent, you are the catalyst for change. They will follow your lead and they will behave as how you allow them to.
So, let them know before they come over that you will not tolerate disrespect.
If they live with you, then set up new household roles. Make sure they accommodate your new partner and also foster a healthy relationship among the people you love.
Spend Time Together as a Family
There is already an existing relationship between you and your spouse and you and your child. However, there isn’t one between your children and your new spouse.
Therefore, they need to get to know each other and this happens when they spend time together.
So long as there is no open animosity and disrespect, you can easily organize events for your family to do so.
This would likely be the start of new family traditions and will create new memories.
Keep your children’s fears in mind when doing so, especially if they were sensitive about replacing a deceased parent. Be respectful of their wishes as well.
However, reassure them that you never intend to replace their parent or forget them.
As well as adult children of divorce adult might need some reassurance as well.
Prepare For Lapses
Sometimes, there will be a relapse.
Your adult child will have doubts or regress to an old behavior.
Simply, nip it before it gets out of control.
Reinforce your love for them, spend time with them, talk with them and continue to bring your spouse and children together.
People often bond easier when they are having fun.
Initially, you shouldn’t make these events too long, tedious or tiresome, because even the best of person get testy when they are tired. So keep these pointers in mind as you enjoy your new blended family with your adult children.