Whether the previous spouse has died, or if it was divorce, both scenarios are difficult. The most important thing is that as a newly married couple the husband and wife need to maintain a united front, and have patience.
Patience is key. Nothing is going to happen overnight. His/her kids will not warm up to their new parent immediately. We must be patient and simply try our best. I do not have much experience in this area, but I have seen friends in a blended family situation and learned a great deal from them.
A key thing i observed is the need to emphasis family. They aren't his, or her kids, bout "our" kids. You are a family, one unit, one family. When a child feels accepted by the "new" parent it makes communication a little bit easier.
Communication will take time. Communication comes when trust is established. One may ask how do you gain a person's trust. Well, I may be the wrong person to ask, but I can tell you that it takes determination, a true desire to gain that trust, patience, and an understanding of the other person's cautions.
Never force, pressure, or push someone to trust you or confide in you. That will automatically permanently remove trust, or the chance of trust. Small conversation and making the person feel safe is the ideal method. Safety and security is key. I know that for me I need to feel safe and confident in the continuance of that safety. Being an honest person, makes all the difference.
Keep your promises, agreements, and covenants. If you say, you will be there at 7pm, be there 10 minutes early, exactly on time, or only 5 minutes late. It may seem trivial, being on time, but if one is chronically late, people around them learn or decide that they cannot be trusted to keep and stand behind their word.
Small, recurring discrepancies really make all the difference. as this is my final post for my class, (I will write more posts scripture study related), If you take anything from this posts on family, please take this: Be an honest, trustworthy person full of integrity. One may be surprised how much of a difference honesty makes.