The parent who doesn’t have the kids living with them often feels that their kids aren’t a factor in the decision to get remarried. While your kids shouldn’t control your life, they should feel comfortable when they visit. By comfortable, I mean they should feel welcome in your home. But this may not happen if the new spouse and the children don’t hit it off right away.
One of the best ways to make a child feel comfortable in your home when they visit is for them to have their own room. It gives them a place in the house that is their own apart from the new step-parent. To prevent your children from having to carry their belongings back and forth between the two houses, they could keep toys, games, clothes, etc. in their room. Even if they don’t spend the night often, they’ll know that they’re wanted if they have their own room. If you have two kids, a bunk-bed in the room for them to share would be better than no room at all. Their own room isn’t always a viable option, but it’s a nice gesture and something to consider when house-hunting after a divorce.
When your children don’t live with you, your time together is limited. All they want is to talk with you and for you to do something together. But this isn’t going to happen if your significant other is always around, making them feel like a third wheel. No matter what the ages are of your children, they aren’t going to take immediately to the new person in your life. Relationships develop slowly over time and cannot be rushed. The best thing to do is to introduce the new person slowly. Have them spend time with both of you, but also make time to spend with your kids alone. As time passes, the kids could spend time with the step-parent alone if everyone is open to that. It would give them a chance to become better acquainted.
One of the biggest problems with the kids not getting along with the new family is changes happening too quickly. A child’s life can go fast from their parents being separated to having half-siblings. The problem is, if your children aren’t living with you then they’re already not going to be spending much time with you. Babies and toddlers require so much attention that spending the needed individual time with your visiting children can become difficult. If the situation turns competitive for your time, then the kids may resent their half-siblings.
There is nothing wrong with having your new spouse take the new baby to visit their family or something while you visit with your kids. After all, your kids should be spending time with you, not watching you boil bottles, mix formula, and change diapers. There does come a time when everyone should pull together as a family. However, going slowly will create ties that last a lifetime.