3 Steps That Make Blending Your Same-Sex Partner With Your Children Easier

So you’ve decided to leave your traditional life and are trying to bring your kids seamlessly into your new family with your same-sex partner. This can seem overwhelming, but don’t worry!

There are some simple tools and steps that you can use to help make your kids feel right at home in their new blended family.

The best thing to do, according to psychologist and relationship advisor Dr. Jennelle, who explains this all in-depth in the YourTango Experts video above, is to come up with a plan to make the transition as smooth and easy to accomplish as possible.

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Here are 3 steps to helping your new family come together:

1. Sit down with your partner and determine the name your kids will call your her.

This step is important and should be done quickly to help establish your new partner as someone who isn’t just another one of Mom’s friends or acquaintances. It will also give your kids time to get used to the idea of this person’s new role in their lives, which is great!

For younger children, choosing something that is a “mommy” name might be best and easiest. However, for older kids, they may choose to call your partner by their first name. If this is something that you’re both fine with, says Dr. Jennelle, then it’s OK!

2. Determine the level of involvement you both are going to have with the kids.

Some people want to be a full-fledged parent to their new family members, but others are very hands-off. Maybe you’re only going to have the kids a portion of the time because you’re splitting the week with their dad. Or maybe you’re going to be full-time parents and caregivers.

Either way, it’s incredibly important that you determine what level of interaction and involvement you and your partner will have in the kids’ lives. You’ll need to do this so that you can present a “unified front”. Like any co-parents, making the decisions together and being on the same page will greatly help you overcome many issues and obstacles later on.

3. Create new family traditions with your partner and children.

This isn’t going to negate the traditions that your kids had with you and your ex as a family or influence anything that they’ll continue doing with their other parent. There is, however, a purpose to creating new experiences that they’ll only have with both you and your partner: This is to help create a familial bond that they can embrace. It will really help you feel like a family unit, as well.

Having traditions together will allow your kids and your partner to bond and help create a wonderful dynamic where they can get used to the new role that your same-sex partner is playing in their lives. It won’t replace old traditions, but it will give them many more memories to create together with the two of you!

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Looking for more advice on how to handle unexpected change? Reach out to Dr. Jennelle, or learn more about the Big Change Of Heart Community