Coping with Kids
Nothing challenges a remarriage more than the presence of children from a prior marriage, and most remarriage households contain kids. While 60
percent is the break-up rate for all remarriages, for those involving
children, the rates are higher, approximately 65 percent. The failure
rate is highest in the first two years, before these multiplex families
have even sorted themselves out.
If there are kids, partners to a remarriage do not get a developmental
period as couple before they are parents. And then, because it takes time
for family feelings to develop, that bond is immediately under assault by
the children. For that reason especially, every family expert recommends
that couples heading into remarriage prolong the period of courtship
despite the desire and the financial incentives to merge households.
Also, there can be resentment because a child sees their original family being broken apart. Compounded by the fact that the children do not have the same perspective as the adults on how and why their parents' marriage broke up they don't have perspective. Sometimes explaining this to a child works, but for younger children it more important to focus on the future and just move on with building an amazing family.
Working to understand a child's emotional state is really important. Parents need to work on having a deep empathic understanding of the emotional stress a child is going through and not just the typical surface level "this is a hard time" view. It is a lot of work, but it is worth it and will help create a tighter relationship with children.
Finally, both parents need to work on bringing the family together both formally and informally. Things like the Family Medallion Ceremony during the wedding event is one way, but others include family events and get together often and early. Things like BBQs, ball games, movie nights are all small moments that add up.
Article ListThe Family Medallion® Wedding
Melding Together a Blended Family
Bonding with your new blended family