Blended families occur when two families that may not have previously known each other suddenly live under the same roof, sharing space. Parents and children alike may find the new situation extremely challenging, particularly during the early weeks and months of the transition.
Child custody laws in Maryland allow for the possibility that either parent may petition the court for a new custody situation at any time. If the children have a difficult time adjusting, the courts may change their position depending on the best interests of the children. Regardless of the situation, try to show respect for all family members and recognize and give praise for small accomplishments. Towson child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles have helped countless families find positive and effective solutions to their child custody issues. Below are some different ways a blended family can cope and adjust to their new situation.
Making a Blended Family Work
- Do not push –When a family becomes blended, the transition can be especially difficult for kids. Step-parents should keep this in mind and be patient. Making a blended family work will take time.
- Affection does not come overnight – Take the time to know your step-children. Understanding them will allow you to build a foundation for affection down the road.
- Discuss parenting topics before marriage – Sit down with your new spouse or partner and talk about how you plan to parent your children as a team. If the children are old enough, include them in an open and honest discussion about the changes.
- Spend time together – Adding new brothers and sisters has the potential to cause jealously in children of any age. Getting both sets of kids to interact will make the transition to a blended family transition smoother. Two great ways to bond as a family are to have game and movie nights. This will help the new parent or partner feel more at home and bring all closer together.
- Avoid ultimatums – Situations may arise where children will attempt to divide the new parents. Avoid the temptation to lay down the law. Instead, remind them that all members of the family are equally important.
- Respect each other – Having a blended family is life-changing and may feel like an upheaval. Not everyone will like each other all the time. Expect that there will be bumps along the way and understand that the process is not easy for anyone.
- Allow time between major changes – Children react to situations differently than adults. Allow children time to adjust and accept their new family members on their own timetable.
Towson Child Custody Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Advise Clients With Blended Families
Towson child custody lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC help parents make decisions about child custody in Maryland. From our offices in Hunt Valley, Towson, and Pikesville, we assist clients throughout Baltimore County, Carroll County, Howard County, and Harford County, including Catonsville, Essex, Bel Air, and Columbia. To arrange a confidential consultation, complete our online form or call 443-589-0150 today.