How Do You Bond With Your Step Family?

Family Playing at the BeachGoing through a divorce is a distressing and heartbreaking experience for any individual, but if you have children who are going through the divorce with you, then it surely intensifies the stress. If you decide to re-marry you need to take into consideration your family as well as your spouse-to-be. Re-marrying is not just about the happiness of two individuals; rather it is the joining of two families, including children of your own and your spouse’s children. This can prove to be a challenging experience, but only for a small amount of time. Your family has gone through some serious changes with can lead to stress, to de-stress your family, you need to look for a person who can help your family get back on the track and bring some balance to your, as well as your children’s life.

Now, before re-marrying, you need to sit down with your spouse-to-be and your children, separately. Discuss with your partner the post-marital challenges that you are likely to face together. Plan with your partner, the changes you might want to make to your house and family environment. Similarly, discuss with your children the possibilities of them accepting and adjusting with a new parent into the family. Let your children meet their parent-to-be, before finalizing the marriage. This way your children will get to know their new parent and will find it relatively easy to develop a better understanding. You need to take your spouse-to-be, along with your children out on dinner, or a football match or even a family picnic. This is to provide your family with a relaxed environment, encouraging a healthy environment for better communication. Do not expect your children to fall in love with their new parent in just a single day! Provide them with some space and enough time to get to know their new parent. You cannot force your children to love someone, until or unless they get to know them on their own. This way, it is likely that your new spouse and your children develop a lasting and affectionate relationship!

If your children are fun-loving, plan some outdoor activities for them. Plan your weekends by either going out or by preparing your favorite meals for dinner with the assistance of your new family. It will definitely take some time for both the parent and children to settle in, but eventually you will make a great step-family. It can happen that children resist in accepting a new parent and siblings, and this situation is the basic cause of frustration for the whole family, and can cause your relationship with your spouse to deteriorate. This can be prevented by showing some patience, giving some love and respect to every individual in the house. Your affection can change the attitude of your step-family towards you, resulting in a successful step-family!

Adjusting in a new relationship is always difficult, but if you are expecting less and giving more affection, then it is the possible to create a successfully peaceful family environment. Do not fantasize about getting the love and affection of your step-family overnight, rather be realistic and provide the new members with some space for them to accept and welcome you in the family!


jensmallcolorsDr. Jennifer Lagrotte
Born and raised in south Florida. She went to the University of Florida for her undergraduate work and majored in communications. She then got her Master’s degree in marriage and family therapy. While she was getting her Master’s, she worked in a hospital Emergency Room as a patient advocate and family counselor.

Since then she has worked with children, adults and geriatric patients. Jennifer has also had experience working in a hospital inpatient Psychiatric unit and with substance abuse patients.

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