When I met my second husband, my boys were aged 4 and 6 and he had an 8 year old son.
Once we settled into life as a “blended family” the boys didn’t call their step-parent mum or dad (after all, they each had an absent parent who they still saw) neither did we tell them that they had to refer to each other as brothers. I do however recall being in the post office when a distant relative of my step-son came over and said to him “Are these your new brothers?” to which he replied ”yes”
Another time I was in the school playground and over heard a mother say to my step-son, “Ask your mum if you can come to ours for tea tomorrow” to which he said to me ”Mum, can I go to my friends house for tea tomorrow please?”
My boys did a similar thing. to my husband, when he was referred to as their dad. I think they found it easier to go along with, rather than explain every time.
I believe that the fact that the boys made up their own minds on the subject, rather than being told how to act helped then to accept our “blended family”
Apart from a few minor disagreements, the boys got on very well.
Quite quickly into our marriage, my third son Adam was born. Not only was he a ‘joint effort’ for us as adults, but he also helped to bond the step-brothers.
The three eldest children would visit their absent parent a few times a week and at one time, Adam asked his dad if he would move out, so he could visit him (he felt he was missing out on something) At first my husband was upset by his remark, but we had a laugh about it later.
Years later, when I was childminding, new parents often wouldn’t realise we were a blended family, until I told them. People often remarked that the older boys looked alike and I was even asked once if they were triplets!
I’m not saying that blending families is easy and we did have arguments from time to time, but if you work at it; all comes right in the end.
My second son, is now married and has a step-son, as well as two daughters of his own. I feel exactly the same towards my step-grandson, as I do my grand daughters.
As always, any comments or questions are most welcome.