Being part of a blended family can be a lot of fun, but just like any family, comes with its own unique set of challenges.
Stepbrothers and sisters can struggle with having to share attention of their parents, while busy family schedules make it all too easy for couples to miss out on quality time together.
So, what’s the secret to bringing your clan together as one? It all comes down to good communication. Here are 3 tips for making sure everyone feels listened to and understood.
1. Lots of patience!
While it’s not always easy, patience is vital to creating a foundation for strong communication in relationships, especially for kids.
Whether your blended family is new, or you’ve all been together for a while, some kids will take longer to adjust than others and may go through phases where they lash out or rebel. This is why patience is so important: everyone is at a different stage in their adjustment to change.
If you’re struggling with patience, cut yourself some slack. We all get frustrated, and there’s no such thing as a perfect parent. Give yourself a moment to take a breath and remind yourself that kids are still learning how to handle their emotions and progress won’t happen overnight.
Patience takes practice and in the long run goes a long way to making people feel seen, heard and understood, especially in blended families.
2. Quality family time
Another way to improve communication is to simply spend quality time together, and by this we mean time that’s separate from the mundane, day to day stuff.
Whether you can spare a whole day on the weekend or a couple hours mid-week, spending quality time with your family playing board games, going for walks or playing in the park helps you to all take a break from the stresses of life, have fun and create happy memories that will last a lifetime.
Get the whole family involved in planning activities to create a sense of togetherness and to accommodate for each family members interests.
3. Consistency is key
When it comes to communication, it’s important to keep your actions consistent. Consider what keeping consistent looks like for your family.
You might choose to have a calendar on the fridge to help remind everyone to regularly schedule in quality family time. It can also take the form of regular phone calls, especially for kids spending time at another parent or guardian’s house, or little ones struggling with separation anxiety.
If your kids are too young for a smartphone, consider getting them a Spacetalk smartwatch which lets young kids call, text or chat with safe contacts that you approve.
There are many ways to bring your blended family closer together. By being patient with each other, spending quality time together and keeping your new habits consistent, you’ll ensure everyone in your family is happy, harmonious and feels connected.