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Newly Blended Family? Creative Ways To Foster Family Togetherness That Kids Will (Secretly) Love!

After going through a difficult relationship and a painful breakup or divorce, you have finally met someone who you feel certain will be a part of your life forever. Even better, this special someone feels the same way, and the two of you are happily attending to all the details of combining your two homes into one. There is, however, one dark cloud on your otherwise happy horizon and it could be a deal breaker - the children involved cannot seem to get along their new siblings. Before you cart them off to family counseling sessions they are sure to detest, consider using these crafty, but oh so subtle, ploys to create one super-sized, but very happy, family!

Remove Territorial Disputes by Changing the Territory 

Kids that are forced to move into another family's home or share their special spaces with newly acquired step-siblings can become resentful or even openly hostile about a situation they view as an unwanted intrusion into their lives. When reprimanded or forced to comply, this type of resentment can fester and create friction that could last for a lifetime. Instead, consider purchasing or renting a larger home that will give each child - and the parents - ample space for both shared activities and private time.

Since all of the children will be approaching life in the new home on equal footing, parents who take this action will find that the opposing sides of this conflict no longer have anything to fight over. To reinforce the positive effects of this action, consider holding family meetings and allowing all the kids to have an equal voice in choosing both the new home and the new bedroom arrangements once the new home is obtained.  

Confuse the Argument With Diversionary Tactics

One of the main reasons that new step-siblings end up at odds is the human tendency to rehash old hurts in the heat of battle. No matter if the current argument is about a lost library book or someone taking too long in the bathroom, if it is allowed to continue, old complaints will soon surface and tensions will continue to rise. The parents of newly blended families can use diversion to douse the flames and force the warring children to work together to benefit all members of the family unit.

A good way to do this is to make the arguing parties work together on something big that will affect the entire family. One possibility is to have them plan, shop for, prepare and serve a special dinner for a gathering of family and friends or extended family members. This is a great example of a diversionary tactic that will not only challenge them, but also provide an excellent opportunity for bonding as they work. 

Use the One-On-One Approach to Soothe Hurt Feelings

Blended family situations can be the perfect breeding ground for hurt feelings that, if left alone, can quickly become full-fledged fights. Combine physical activity and fun by installing a basketball hoop on the garage or a trampoline in the backyard. Use shooting hoops and games on the trampoline as a fun way of creating both special one-on-one times for each parent to spend with a child and group activities for the entire family. The sound of a dribbling basketball is a powerful inducement that most children find themselves unable to resist, even when they are trying to appear nonchalant.  

Bolster Their Confidence By Adding New Players

Basketball hoops, swimming pools and trampolines are all excellent props to help children learn to get along with each other as a family, but they can also help bolster their confidence with their peers. Consult with a reputable sporting goods retailer to find out what types of outdoor activities are the most popular with kids in your area. Your blended family home may soon become the favored hangout for the neighborhood, which will help your kids make warm friendships while also creating stronger family bonds with their new siblings. Visit to find great options for sporting goods for your family.