The process of moving in together after the wedding has created problems between newly married couples for centuries. When you add children from former relationships to the mix, it’s easy to see how problems may easily arise, but it doesn’t have to be that way. Make the move easier on every member of your newly blended family by avoiding these common mistakes.
Don’t Tell Kids and Stepkids They Have to Downsize
If you need to downsize and get rid of some of your family’s things for the move, give your children and stepchildren a sense of control over what they need to part with before the move. Try to frame it in a possible way. For example, you may explain that they can clear out old stuff to make way for exciting new things.
When kids do choose to get rid of some old toys before packing their things away, reward them by letting them choose one new toy or item for their new room during their first week in the new house. Talk to them about how the gift is in celebration of the newly blended family.
Don’t Try To Do Everything for the Kids
Newlywed parents want to protect their children from all the bumps and growing pains that are inevitable as two different families come together to form a blended one. Unfortunately, it’s impossible to protect kids from the inevitable frustrations, and being overprotective during the moving process can just lead to frustration for all members of the family.
Instead, involve children and teens in the move. Give them specific, age-appropriate responsibilities. Let them choose most of what they want to do and say yes to what you think they can handle well. For example, a young child with neat handwriting skills can help you label boxes, while an older teen may love to take inventory of each box as you pack them.
Giving kids specific responsibilities that are a good fit for their abilities is a good idea for blended families. It helps children see that both their biological parent and their stepparent are giving them personalized attention and value what they are contributing to moving day.
Don’t Forget to Plan
When faced with so many changes at once, you may be tempted to just try to play it by ear. However, as the old adage goes, failing to plan can lead to failure. Make a detailed moving plan with every member of your newly blended family. Ask for every family member’s input and have a family meeting to discuss your moving plan before you start implementing it.
In addition to a basic moving plan that details what each family member needs to know about the move, also make a plan for how you will live together in the new home. Make rules about which chores and responsibilities each child will have. You may opt to first have that discussion in private with your new spouse, then extend the conversation to the children to finalize the post-move plan.
Don’t Play Favorites with Your Kids or Stepkids
When you are blending your family, you may notice that your children try to get reassurances that you love them better than your stepchildren. They may be jealous of stepsiblings that take some of your attention. Try to avoid showing any sort of favoritism by praising each child for their efforts during the move. Acknowledge all the different things they do well and the efforts they make.
Be proactive to prevent potential fights among stepsiblings during the move. For example, if one child chooses the biggest room, arguments may erupt. Try to prevent feelings of rivalry by sorting out which child will get which room before moving day. Make practical choices about the rooms, then calmly explain your reasons if the kids challenge you.
Finally, call on professional movers to help make the transition from your old house to your new home as seamless as possible. Contact Island Movers Inc. to discuss your moving needs with one of our caring representatives. As a family-owned business for over 60 years, we know what it takes to effectively help our customers with every aspect of moving.