5 tips to make blended families work

Last year Statistics South Africa (Stats SA) published the latest divorce statistics based on 21 998 completed divorce forms they had received. The number indicates an increase of approximately five percent from the 20 980 cases processed in 2011.

There is life after divorce. Having survived a painful divorce, you managed to find a new loving relationship. But there are children involved from both sides and now all of a sudden you are a step mom or step dad. How then do you make the blended family work?

5 Tips to help blended family work and live happily together

1. Roles needs to be redefined.
Both parents need to be clear as to who does what. Children need to know who they listen to and who they take instructions from. “Am I listening to my natural parent or do I also listen to my step parent”?

2. Establish a new identity for the new family.
Introduce the kids to each other and let them relate to each other. Set boundaries beforehand. Children are very powerful and they can sink your new relationship.

3. Communicate.
There’s a need for enormous clarity and this means talking about everything. Have a discussion where there is no argument.

4. Guard against high expectations.
Don’t assume you’ll be welcomed and called mommy or daddy.

5. Seek help.
Get support, therapy or some kind of intervention on how to deal with your new challenging situation.

Listeners sharing their experiences in blended families:

Andrew in East Rand has two children from his previous marriage. And after his wife died he married a widow with two children. He says his wife’s eldest son (21) is refusing to do chores and he wants to come home after curfew. He recently threatened to stop paying for his university fees if he doesn’t stop being disrespectful.

Tina in Lonehill has been part of a blended family for the past four years. Tina says it works well for her and her husband. She says the respect her and her husband have for each other has rubbed off to the children. Tina has three children and her husband has a son from his previous marriage.

It is wonderful if you are explorative. If you have a lot of tolerance, go for it…… Be flexible, tolerant and supportive as possible.

Dr Helgo Schomer
Read More
Vodacom customers weigh in on disappearing data

Vodacom customers weigh in on disappearing data

Listeners share their thoughts and frustrations on Vodacom's mishap that caused their data to vanish overnight.

Drug-testing may help tackle school violence, says Gauteng education

Drug-testing may help tackle school violence, says Gauteng education

The department's Steve Mabona says drug-testing from Grade 8 may help curb the prevalent problem of substance abuse among pupils.

60% of children in SA under 10 don’t live with their biological fathers - study

60% of children in SA under 10 don’t live with their biological fathers - study

Kabelo Chabalala Founder of the Young Men Movement (YMM) spoke with Gugu Mhlungu about the rates of fatherhood in South Africa.

Does it still take a village to raise a child?

Does it still take a village to raise a child?

Relationship coach Stephanie Dawson-Cosser examines whether people are still concerned with helping children within a community.

How to raise smart children

How to raise smart children

Dr Schomer's tips on raising children with different talents and characters, and how to encourage their uniqueness.

How to identify controlling behaviour and what to do about it

How to identify controlling behaviour and what to do about it

We all have control issues, Redi Tlhabi finds out when it could become a problem for you or those around you.

Popular articles
An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

An expert guide on 'hotwifing' and 'cuckolding' in the bedroom

Clinical sexologist Dr Eve shares insights into sexual fetishes and how partners negotiate them in their bedroom and relationship.

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

[Watch] John Maytham shuts down victim shamer on air

A caller wanted to know what the alleged victim had done in order for Grace Mugabe to assault her.

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Cape officials to harvest 500 million litres of new water a day

Mayor of Cape Town speaks to CapeTalk's Kieno Kammies about plans to provide more water amidst the ongoing drought.

LISTEN:  Reformed car hijacker sheds light on hijacking underworld

LISTEN: Reformed car hijacker sheds light on hijacking underworld

This reformed car hijacker was convicted for hijacking, robbery and murder and served almost 16 years jail time. Hear his story.

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

Journos walk out of Bathabile Dlamini's briefing after 2 hour wait

EWN's Gia Nicolaides says journalists walked out of the media briefing on social grants after waiting for hours for her to arrive.

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

3 emergency numbers you should have on speed dial and how they work

These are the emergency numbers you should have on your cellphone and this is what you must understand about how they work.