Talking to Your Kids about a Second Marriage

First of all, congratulations! Spreading the news of your upcoming marriage is exciting and you are undoubtedly anxious to begin to telling the important people in your life about your new future.

In the case of second marriages, frequently those very important people include kids.

Before you start spreading the news too far and wide, however, take some time to think about how you and your fiancé want to approach talking to the kids in your lives about your upcoming marriage. If one or both of you has kids from a previous relationship, it’s important to be sensitive to their questions and concerns. Here are some basics to keep in mind:

  • Consider their age – Younger children may be confused about what’s happening. Be patient and explain things as best you can at a level they’ll understand. You can also turn to children’s books as a way to help explain and start the conversation. Older kids and teenagers may be more challenging to connect with given that they are dealing with their own stressors in life. Plan your conversation carefully and find a time and place when they will be more receptive to your conversation and feel comfortable talking and asking questions.
  • Think about timing – You want your kids to be among the first to hear about your plans for marriage rather than overhearing you talk about it to friends or family on the phone. Little ears are everywhere (and so too are big ears, for that matter).
  • Expect questions and potentially negative reactions – It’s not uncommon for your children to express negative reactions when they first hear your news of remarriage. After all, it means a change in the current family dynamics and it will have an impact on the role each person in the family plays. Be empathetic to their concerns and give them time to process the change. Allowing them space to adapt to the news and being supportive of whatever they are feeling will help them feel understood and valued.

Second marriages are momentous occasions, but it’s not surprising for children to have questions and concerns about what it means to be part of a newly blended family. At Vasquez de Lara Law Group, family is at the core of everything we do. If you have questions about Florida family law, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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