How to tell the kids you plan to get remarried – comfort, encourage and celebrate

The whole concept of Daddy or Mummy getting remarried is a little strange for some kids. Most children’s films and books tell the classic story of boy meets girl. Boy meets girl, has children, splits up, meets another girl and gets remarried is not what Disney teaches us. Not that I’m knocking Disney – I would never do that.

For this reason, bringing the kids into our wedding and making it about them and our family together was extra important for us. We started as we meant to go on by making sure we put time and effort into how we told them that we planned to get remarried.

I know there is no perfect way to communicate with children. When we told them that we were planning on getting remarried we wanted to tell them 3 main things.

Comfort – Nothing is going to change.
Encourage – You can ask as many questions as you want.
Celebrate – This is going to be fun.

Nothing is going to change

Children from non-traditional families often experience more change in their lives than in a traditional family.

Our children started their lives living with Mummy and Daddy, when they were 1 and 3 Daddy went to live somewhere else. They starting to live sometimes at Mummys and sometimes at Daddys.  At this age it must be such a strange and confusing change to happen.

A year later they met a new woman (me).  In a few short years they had gone from living with Mummy and Daddy to living half of their time and Mummy’s house and half of their time with me and their dad. That feels really crazy when I write it down.  Certainly, for me going from being single to being a married woman with two step kids in less than two years has been a lot of change to deal with.

Oops, this should be a pretty picture to break up the textFor these reasons when we told the kids we planned to get remarried
we focused a lot on the fact that nothing would change.  They would still live in the same places and be loved by the same people.

You can ask as many questions as you want

The littlest one was only 2 when we got engaged but our eldest was 5 so understood a lot more of what was going on.  At the time we spoke to them we asked her if she had any questions and she asked a couple of questions and seemed quite happy. Daddy getting remarried did not seem to worry either of them at all.

Over the coming weeks we talked about it a few more times as a family and made sure the kids had a free reign to say whatever they wanted.  One day our eldest decided she was ready to face the big problem which had been troubling her.  If we hadn’t kept that conversation open for a few weeks I’m not sure she would have felt comfortable.  And it was a BIG problem.  Well, not really, but for her it was and therefore it was for us. “Are you going to smooch?”.  She does not like smooching, she turns away at the end of every Disney film with a big ‘Yuck’.

Oops, this should be a pretty cute picture of smoochingThinking about it, if every experience you’ve ever had of weddings was films you’d have a very clear idea of what a wedding is. Church bells and a smooch. We reassured her that it would be a full day of celebrating. That we would only really do one proper smooch in the church, it would not be the main thing.  This made her feel much more comfortable.

This is going to be fun

Children who have been through a lot of change may feel reluctant to experience new things. This made the fun element a key part of our message.  We were planning a big family party!  Music, cake, dancing, games, pretty frocks, all their favourite people.  This wasn’t just us getting married it was all four of us having a massive fun party.  This is what we did for the next 10 months while we planned the wedding.  The children were included in every step. They got to make and hand out their party invites, choose their party games, shop for their dresses and much more.  I’m going to write up my top tips for including your children in your wedding day as soon as I get chance.

Oops, this was supposed to be a nice party picture

Overall the children loved the whole experience of our wedding from when we told them to the day itself. I can’t recommend enough that if you are going to get remarried to start as you mean to go on.  Make sure your children are included right from the start. Make sure that you reassure them, allow them to ask questions and focus on the awesome family party that you are planning together.

19 thoughts on “How to tell the kids you plan to get remarried – comfort, encourage and celebrate”

  1. It is funny that you mention Disney…I am so happy they introduced Princess Sofia. She is a little girl who’s mother remarries the king and has to deal with a blended family…and no one is evil! Congrats on the wedding.

    1. We don’t really watch princess sofia so I wasn’t aware of her backstory – I’m introducing it in now. Thanks for the heads up 🙂

  2. I love that you turned this into a simple three-step process. I’m so happy to hear that you’ve included your children in your marriage from the beginning. It is about all of you as a family after all.
    Best wishes! 🙂

  3. We were bad, lol we eloped and the kids found out after we were married. But, we had talked about what the kids felt about the possibility of us getting married before hand. They were on board from the start. We did have a celebration after our eloping that included the kids (they stood us with us as we respoke our vows in front of family) I think you handled it beautifully and your family will be blessed for it. Thank you for sharing this post in the All for Mamas Link party Week 9 #allformamas. Be sure to finish up the steps for the link party so I can share your post across social media and so you can be considered for the featured post 🙂 Stephenie – Blended Life Happy Wife

  4. These are totally helpful tips! I’m not in that boat..however having three kids with the same man and not being married yet (been with the same guy for 10 yrs almost 11 now) was a bit confusing for my first child. He’s 8 and for years he’s been asking why we have yet to when we told him it’s finally happening this July he was overjoyed. Thanks for sharing these tips. So important to make them feel comfortable and part of the process. — Maria |

  5. This is so interesting – I am the ‘stepmum’ (still can’t get used to that label) and we’ve been together for almost 8 years. Our daughter is two and my stepson is 13 years old…we’ve been thinking of getting married in the next year but need to make sure we do it in the right way for my stepson as he approaches his teens. #marvmondays

    1. Just by the fact you’ve been considering how to do it the right way for him proves you’ll do it well 🙂

  6. What a beautiful way to incorporate the children into the whole experience. As a child my parents both remarried and I know that while I struggled with the change my Step mother did everything she could to include me and make me feel confident and happy. Sadly they separated and I lost touch with her but if I could I would thank her for all she did in those years, and I am sure your kids will feel the same 🙂

  7. we didn’t tell our kids, we have 5 between us from previous marriages, when we did get married, we didn’t invite the kids, or family, just 3 seta of friends to act as witnesses and then moved into our first home altogether.
    Popping over from #TriumphantTales to say hi.

    1. I suppose this way you focused on exactly what the day was and what it meant for you. The joining of the two of you and your relationship. And why the hell not? one of the things I learnt when planing our wedding was that unless you do things your own way and consider why you are doing thhings you can get bogged down in what you ‘should’ do or what will make other people happy. Thanks for reading 🙂

  8. Aah, I think it’s amazing that you included the children so much, and were really sensitive to their wishes and worries. I love the simplified process that you’ve condensed it to here, as well. The children sound very lucky to be in a situation where everyone is making the transition and change of circumstances, as easy on them as possible!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink x

  9. This is great advice! I think it’s so important to keep the kids involved. They can get so worried about things or misunderstand what is happening, so being open about it all is key. #brillblogposts

  10. I think this is brilliant advice, how lovely to get them involved. Thank you for linking up to #TriumphantTales, hope to see you again on Tuesday 🙂

  11. Good advice. I agree that you have to focus on the stability element for little children with split families – new routines and then reassurance that those are not changing. #MarvMondays

  12. This is fab, what a perfect way to start as you mean to go on!! I remember when my dad married his second wife, they involved us every step of the way and we welcomed her with loving arms. She made us feel like their place was a home from home and even though we only visited on Sundays, they moved to a bigger place and had a room just for us if we fancied staying over.
    Thank you for sharing your brilliant tips with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back tomorrow

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