Stop, look and listen in your stepfamily
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Take time to notice how well your step kids and you are getting along, and how well you know and appreciate each other. Listen. Is there laughter in your step family household? Do you hear conversation that indicates considerate and caring personal interest in other family members? Is there spontaneous group activity or discussion? Is your relationship with your bio kids thriving? Do you spend enough one-on-one time with them?
Blended family meetings
Blended family meetings are a great way to review events of the summer, recognize milestones and celebrate accomplishments. They are also an excellent opportunity to perform a review of the rules of the household and have discussions about how they might be improved. As blended family members grow and develop new interests and obligations, so do needs and expectations.
What is negotiable in a blended family?
Like many issues in our lives, some blended family issues are fixed and not open to discussion; such as your blended family requirement that everyone be treated with consideration and respect. Other issues that remain constant might refer to the parental management partnership which runs each blended family household; step kids are always expected to respond to the advice or reprimands of a step parent in the same way they would respond to their own bio parent. Some values are non-negotiable.
If you need any additional assistance, check out the resources at The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.