Wedding Engagement: How Should We Tell Our Kids We're Getting Married?
Q: What is the best way to tell our kids we're getting married? Our daughters have both said they will not live with us if we get married; our two sons are more accepting of the wedding. Should we let them all know ASAP so they can get used to the idea? Should we tell them separately or together?
A: You should each tell your own children separately. That way you can all express your feelings openly -- the kids won't feel they can't say what they think because your fiance and his kids are there. Open communication seems especially important because your daughters have already expressed reservations about you two getting married. It's crucial to let all the kids know your plans right away, so, as you said, they can get used to the idea. You need to also make it clear that you want them to keep communicating with you about how they feel; try to get to the root of your daughters' issues with the marriage, and take the necessary steps to smooth the transition. Perhaps family counseling would help in this respect. Above all, be sure to make them feel they are an important part of your union -- the joining of your two families -- by involving them in the planning and including and/or honoring them during the ceremony.