In many remarriages, not only do the children gain a new addition or more to their family, they can often be uprooted to another home, town or school system. Family is a sacred staple in the lives of children, regardless of how the family dynamic is made up. To say that remarriage isn’t effectual to children is to live in a perfect world where all problems can be summed up in 30 minutes with a laugh track. The fact is, a remarriage can have a huge impact on a child’s life and that impact can be either positive or negative. This transition can be terribly hard on the children. The loss of their original family unit is hard enough, without having to leave a home they love or friends they have known their entire life. The change in schools and loss of friends can be especially hard on the teens in the family. Remember how it felt to be a teen and allow them their space to adjust to the new situation. Allow them the freedom to keep in contact with their old friends or bring mementos from their old home.
Another commonly faced obstacle among children in a remarriage is the feeling, that by liking their new step-parent, they are betraying their natural parent. If possible, recruit your Ex to show support for your marriage. Though this may seem extraordinary, it can be done. Even when the Ex isn’t happy about it, putting on a smile and a happy face and simply keeping their mouth closed in front of the child can have a huge impact on the child’s ability to transition into the new marriage. It’s safe to assume the younger the child, the easier that child may adjust to the idea of a new relationship and a new “parent” in the home, but that may not always be accurate. A child’s natural instinct is to protect the parent that is no longer in the home, or the parent they feel is suffering from the new union. As important as it is for them to be involved in the new family, it’s equally or more important to keep them grounded in the traditions of their natural parents or their original family. Try to work with your Ex and with your new family. Most important, when combining a family and joining in a remarriage, remember that this marriage isn’t just between you and your spouse, but also between the children and that no matter what obstacles lay ahead, you have the power to make the transition smooth and positive and make the effects of a remarriage beneficial to all involved.