The Four Advantages to Having a Blended Family Blending your family provides some added benefits for you and your kids. BY DAVID J. GLASS
With time and attention your blended family can enjoy added benefits.
“ Even if they don’t accept your new spouse completely on an immediate basis, they will soon see that you are now part of an effective parenting team.”
You’ve moved on. You’ve successfully separated from your ex-spouse, figured out the custody schedule, negotiated the divorce, and now find yourself with a whole new world of social possibilities. If you have done your homework, you have figured out what you did wrong in the last relationship and also figured out what kind of partner you want going forward. You are poised to make all sorts of changes to your family, including blending your children and your new spouse’s children into a fresh family unit. The good news is: Most of these changes can be very positive experiences for you and children.
Providing a Happy Parental Relationship as a Model for Your Children
If you and your new spouse are happy together, and the two of you also work well together, your children are going to notice. Even if they don’t accept your new spouse completely on an immediate basis, they will soon see that you are now part of an effective parenting team. They will no doubt compare your behavior to how you were in the last relationship. They will compare the way you work together, back each other up, and do so in complete unity as opposed to the fractured way you used to parent with your ex-spouse. They will compare how happy you are in your daily interactions with your new spouse as compared to the more tension-filled interactions with your ex-spouse.
The bottom-line is that you are providing your children with an amazing opportunity to model their own future relationships as your new one. Additionally, when you are happier, your children will be happier.
Finally, your new spouse likely has a more objective view of your own parenting style, and how you get along with your children. Listen to your new spouse. He/she will have important lessons to share with you.
Your Child Now Has More People Who Love Him or Her
Most often, children really need only one single person who loves and respects them to "survive" the divorce. But, we are not talking about "surviving"—we are talking about "thriving." And thriving after divorce is directly tied to how many people a child has on deck to love them. Expanding your children’s list of loving, compassionate adults increases your child’s likelihood of connecting with one or more of them. Even if they only connect with one more adult, that’s one more than they previously had (in addition to you and his/her other parent). Most likely, the new and expanded family will make your kids feel welcome as they, too, become protective of your offspring.
Children from Blended Families Are Typically Better Problem-Solvers
Children who spend their time with two different families, by necessity, must learn how to interact and negotiate with two different sets of "parents" and live by two different sets of rules. Although this may be difficult at first, eventually, your children will learn how to adapt to new people and new circumstances more readily and effectively. They learn quickly how to plan their wardrobes, select their sporting equipment, and organize their own schedules. They also learn how to compromise with their new siblings and with your new mate.
Blended Families Are More Financially Secure Than Single Parents
Blending two families also means potentially blending two sources of income. The economics of scale when you move two single-parent families into a blended-family household help, too. Formerly, there may have been more limited funds, however, when income becomes blended, money often stretches further. Increased income results in a decreased amount of money-related stress for the parents (which trickles down to the children). Added income also leads to greater opportunities for the children themselves.
David J. Glass is uniquely qualified to handle complex family law matters because he is one of a few select attorneys who is dually-trained in law and clinical psychology (PhD). He offers his clients an “inside look” at, and understanding of, the procedures employed by court-appointed mental health and psychological professionals, in addition to handling the full range of family law matters. Prior to his law career, Glass worked as a therapist treating adults with anxiety disorders, mood disorders and drug & alcohol addictions, and worked in a psychiatric emergency room. Glass is best known for handling A-list celebrities and was highly-lauded for his work on the Kelly Rutherford custody issue in its early stages. Glass has appeared on NBC’s Extra and Good Day L.A. as well as serving as a guest on KABC Radio’s Real Estate Zone, The Ed Tyll Show on Starcom Radio,WMT Radio, and “David and Friends” on WYTM radio. A regular columnist and contributor to "Divorce" magazine and Hitchedmag.com, Glass is currently working on a book, "Moving On," a tome geared to help divorcees and their families reconstruct their lives after divorce.