Monday, July 23, 2012

A harmonious blended family: fiction or fact?

image courtesy of

Balancing child rearing philosophy, energy, and commitment is often no fun for a blended family step parent. Feeling torn between your new spouse, stepchildren, and your own kids when you are trying to keeping everybody on board your blended family boat from a mutiny can be a challenge-but achievable! Here’s how:

·         Assess the situation.
·         Set your goal.
·         Create a plan.
·         Follow through.
·         Continually re-assess the situation.
·         Revisit your goal.
·         Revise your plan if needed.
·         Follow through.

Acknowledge the struggle
When you and your new spouse created this blended family, if you expected that two separate established families with established routines and methods, and with established rules and expectations, could blend together easily, you were being blinded by love. Some say that anything worth having is worth struggling for; they may well be talking about blended families. 

Have discussions about childrearing when you are alone
If you and your spouse discuss a hot parenting issue for the first time in front of you kids, you may be setting yourselves, and your kids, up for confusion and discomfort. Besides agreeing that you and your spouse will always present a united stance in front of the kids, you should both know that if you argue in front of children, it affects them in several different ways.

Say what you feel
Unless you tell your spouse or step kids how you feel and why, it is not fair for either you or your child to feel misunderstood. Harmony can only be realized in a blended family where everyone knows what is and is not expected of them. Tell your spouse exactly what you need in order to feel accepted, special, and an important part of their life.\

Mutually agree on consequences for breaking house rules
Do not assume your accustomed style of disciplining your kids is appropriate for your step kids. You and your spouse must have a frank discussion about whatever rules and consequences existed before the blended family.

Step up to the task
Make it a major goal to develop a relationship with each step kid, one that has nothing to do with your spouse. Set aside special time for you and your step kid to interact alone. For more information, visit The Blended and Step FamilyResource Center.

No comments:

Post a Comment