After your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer has helped you to obtain a divorce order and you’ve moved on with your life, you may end up in a relationship with someone who has kids. You might also go on to have more children with a new partner. In both cases, many parents find it difficult to bridge the gap between step-siblings and half-siblings—and that’s completely normal, according to psychologists.
Challenges Blended Families Face
In a blended family, some of the children might feel that others receive preferential treatment. Additionally, different parents have different parenting styles; that means your stepchildren might have different rules at your house and different rules at their other parent’s house. Schedules often conflict, and parents have to juggle kids’ activities and visits with their own obligations. On top of all that, step-siblings and half-siblings might not get along.
While all that sounds overwhelming, handling things the right way can bring your blended family closer together. As a parent, your goal is probably to run a harmonious household that works like a well-oiled machine… but as a realistic parent, it’s more reasonable to aim for days that don’t end in tears or hospital visits.
Fair is Fair
When you set a rule in your house, everyone has to abide by it. In a blended family, there’s no room for exceptions. Allowing one child to do something that another cannot (aside from age-appropriate activities and bedtimes) isn’t fair and can drive a wedge between you and the kids—and between you and your spouse.
Avoid playing favourites at all costs, even if you do secretly prefer your own mild-mannered child to your boisterous stepchild. Kids are incredibly intuitive, and they’ll spot your favouritism from a mile away.
It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Being part of a blended family is tough, and sometimes venting your feelings or taking a short break is all you need to rejuvenate yourself and get back on track. When you’re overwhelmed, reach out to family and friends for help.
If you’re not comfortable talking to your family or friends about your stresses, consider calling your Richmond Hill divorce lawyer to ask for a referral to a counselor or therapist who can help. Your lawyer might also know of local support groups for people in situations similar to yours.
When to Call Your Richmond Hill Divorce Lawyer
There are some situations that require you to call a Richmond Hill divorce lawyer, even if your divorce was years ago. If your kids or your spouse’s kids return from their other parent’s house talking about abuse or domestic violence, or if the other parent interferes with your time with the kids, call a lawyer right away to find out what steps you need to take.