Jul 8, 2020
Blending Families? It’s all about the kids
The trend in child custody is a shared or 50/50 schedule, so children spend equal time with both parents. This means it’s very likely that new partners and old partners will have more contact and more often with each other. Getting along with your ex’s new partner or vice versa will help children adjust to their new situation and make them feel comfortable in both homes, Here are some suggestions to managing this challenging relationship and keep the best interest of the children in the forefront of your mind.
Be Realistic. Be Practical. Be Flexible.
Visualize your goal for the relationship. Set the goal to “get along” and picture how that will look. What we think and what we believe often becomes our reality. Setting boundaries for this relationship is also necessary to make it work. You do NOT have to be friends with each other. But it’s crucial to be able to discuss problems or issues and come to a solution.
Ditch the Competition. Just Love the Kids.
Keep in mind that your new partner’s children have a mother and do not need another one. There is no need for new partners and their exes to compete with each other. Children are very capable of clearly defining new relationships in their lives and maintaining the ones they have already established. Trust that the more people that love a child, the better his or life life.
Model Kindness and Collaboration to the Children.
Find your niche with the children, everyone is good at something. Find interests and common ground between you and the children and get them involved with those activities. Understand that their other parent also has a niche and respect that as well. Acknowledging you partner’s ex and their good work in parenting can go a long way in developing a positive relationship. Never speak badly of the other parent in front of the children Trust that if your new partner chose you for your good qualities, most likely your partner’s ex also has some good qualities. Look for those qualities and believe that if the adults model kindness to each other, children will learn to navigate life’s many difficult relationships as they grow into adulthood and raise their own children.
©2020 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation