Many people think of seeing a marriage counselor when they are already fighting and experiencing a lot of tension at home. We are here to help with these situations and recommend visiting as quickly as possible to prevent escalation or further deterioration of the relationship. However, there are also many benefits to visiting a counselor prior to reaching this point. One benefit is visiting us to ease the tension of bringing new family members into the picture of re-marrying.
Bring two families together smoothly
Given the current divorce rate, blended families are incredibly common as divorced individuals with children remarry. Two families coming together when adults remarry is not an easy transition for anyone. There are dynamic changes that will happen within the family unit that can impact both spouses and the children.
Having a plan for how to approach the situation and how to work through it in a positive and healthy manner is wise for everyone. In fact, we often recommend that couples visit together prior to the families blending. These family therapy sessions can help ensure that the children are transitioning well.
We understand that t is not always possible to plan for counseling ahead of time. However, if there is no counseling before the transition to help set boundaries and create a game plan, parents will benefit from creating an appointment at the first sign of trouble. Working through the difficulties in a proactive fashion will ensure that the family can come together.
How a marriage counselor can help
First, a couple needs to be on the same page in regards to what their expectations are for family life. These expectations can include everything from school schedules and discipline whether or not a child can have friends spend the night on the weekend. It is surprising how different parenting styles can be and how few couples realize that they are not in sync until the family moves in together.
We can help to identify these differences before they come to a head and work toward a compromise. This requires listening and understanding. When parenting styles are different, it is typically not because one person thinks the other is an unfit parent but simply, a different outlook on life and approach. Therefore, parents must deal with these issues in a loving manner that is also respectful. Being respectful will help to ensure that positive results through open communication.
Bring the kids
As a marriage counselor working with blended families, we often find it helpful to include the children in counseling sessions. This would typically be done after both parents have had a couple sessions together to ensure that they are on a similar page and the family sessions do not turn into a fight between parents when considering the emotions or thoughts of the children.
When handled appropriately, family therapy sessions can be incredibly valuable. The sessions create a safe space for children to express their fears and concerns. The sessions also allow for parents to respond in a way that is healthy and productive with our guidance and assistance.