SANDY, Utah- (Good Things Utah) Adding more people to your family is an exciting thing. The more the merrier! While it is exhilarating to find love and grow your family with stepchildren, it doesn’t always come easy. Combing two families to make a new family unit and dynamic can often be challenging to navigate. Chelsie Dort, mother in a blended family, shares some insight to how to make this change a little bit easier.

Dort found love the second time around in 2014. When she married her current husband nearly a decade ago, her son from a previous marriage was just two years old. She and her husband welcomed four other children. The five kids range from ages 1-11. While all family dynamics are different, it is important to establish to your children when a new partner enters the family and establish the seriousness of the relationship. While courting her current husband, Dort said her partner and her first born had a bond and friendship. It was a little intimidating at first for her spouse to make the transition from a friend to a disciplinarian and parental figure. “If we’re being honest, it took us a long time,” said Dort. “For my son, nobody else was supposed to get mad at him, only I was.” After her divorce from her first husband and her oldest son’s biological father, she was more lenient with her child which also made the transition more difficult.

Dort says it is key to be honest and share your feelings and concerns. They can initially be uncomfortable but are worth it to have so you can have a safe and inviting environment in your home. Sometimes literally saying the words can be difficult so it can be helpful to write them down in a journal for the other person to read at a later time. It is advantageous because it helps the person who wrote it feel at ease but also gives the recipient time to process the thoughts. Often times if they hear this in person, they can respond in an irrational way so this allows both parties to communicate in a safe way.

Recently, The Dorts have started offering blended family one on one coaching. The duration of the program is three months long. The first month focuses on the parent relation while the second month is oriented towards the stepparent and stepchild relationship. The final month is the overall family dynamic. They are offering 20% off coaching sessions with a mention of watching their GTU segment.