Helping Your Kids Adjust to Your Second Marriage
Getting remarried after being widowed can be exciting and unsettling at the same time. This is especially true when kids are involved.
Kids often need a lot of reassurance and help in order to adjust to and accept the changes that come with a second marriage. Here are some essential ways in which you as a parent can support your kids through this confusing time.
- Listen to your kids’ concerns
Paying attention to your kids’ needs and concerns will help you figure out the best way to support them. Speak to every kid individually and give them an opportunity to voice their worries.
Common worries of kids from blended families include having to share rooms with new siblings, having to adjust their daily routines and having to compete with their new step parent and siblings for their mum’s or dad’s attention. Older kids may also worry about finances.
- Reassure your kids
At the end of the day, all your kids really want is reassurance that everything will be okay. So, go ahead and let them know that you will continue to love and support them even after getting married. Also, point out the benefits that they will gain from the new marriage e.g. new siblings.
If you foresee any major challenges – such as financial constraints – be honest with your kids. Glossing over such challenges and acting as if everything is fine will cause them to feel betrayed when they find out that you knew all along.
- Be Patient
No matter how much you reassure your kids, it will take them time to get used to their new lives. They might withdraw from the entire situation and refuse to participate, or overreact to the situation for no reason at all. The best thing you can do is be patient, listen and keep reassuring them.
- Take them to see a counselor
If any of your kids starts having difficulties at school or in their social lives as a result of your second marriage, they may need to see a guidance counselor. Counseling can help them deal with difficult issues such as the fear of betraying their deceased parent.
Getting into a second marriage can be challenging especially when there are kids involved. It is important for you as a parent to realize that what your kids need most during that time is a listening ear, constant reassurance and patience.