Monday, October 17, 2011

Blended Family Rules for the Grandparents

Your new spouse and you have taken the time to get to know one another, and you have made the decision to enter remarriage and create a blended family. Hopefully, you did the right thing and had your spouse meet your parents before you got married (this tradition doesn’t change just because you became an adult). Now that your step family has been created, it’s time to give your parents some tips in what to do and not do in regards to your new blended family.

All kids should be treated fairly and equally
Every child, including those who are not biologically your grandchildren, should be treated the same. The parents will be watching to see how things pan out. If the biological children refer to you as “grandma,” then invite your step grandkids to do the same. If you give out hugs when arriving for a visit, make sure to hug everyone. Beyond that, to do your part in creating a well-adjusted blended family, just forget that the words “step” and “biological” even exist. These terms can subconsciously cause you to treat the kids in the stepfamily differently.

Show an interest in every child
Take some time to get to know each of the step kids in the blended family, and learn about their interests and hobbies. Figure out a unique quality of each and use that to build a comfortable relationship with them.

Remember their important days
Take note of the school events, birthdays and other events in the lives of your step grandkids. Make a special calendar just for them and mark all their occasions. Remember your new son or daughter in law as well. Send them a card on their birthday to show your support. Help your child, their new spouse, and their blended family feel welcome by talking to them about your family’s history.

Don’t bring up the past
Your child is an adult now and has entered a new marriage with their own stepfamily, so don’t bring up past relationships. Any old photos should be taken down and replaced with photos of the blended family. You don’t have to throw those pictures out, but just keep them in a secluded place.

Be a good listener
There is bound to be a time when your child calls to vent about their spouse, kids, or blended family in general. Don’t judge or offer an opinion, just listen. Show you daughter or son support as they do their best to make their step family work. It isn’t easy being a step mom or step dad.

In closing, your only real job as a grandparent is to love your grandchildren and support your child and spouse as they work to create a wonderful blended family. A step family will seem awkward at first, but the reward of a larger family is well worth the efforts.

You can avail of more articles and advice by visiting The Blended and Step Family Resource Center website or by calling for coaching and counseling services which the center offers. To get the help that you need, get in touch with our licensed professional counselors and we will help you find solutions and hope.

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