Parent Sanity – How to be a parent and keep your sanity

What I have learned so far…

Blended Families

on October 5, 2012

Tricia, Becca, Chrissy and Lia

I wanted to address the blended family dynamic, as it seems to provide challenges for many families these days. I believe that I can offer a unique perspective to help out in these situations.

  • Younger kids will tend to ask more questions, as traditional family roles conflict with their own family and they are simply trying to make sense of their world. Be patient, listen first, and provide age appropriate answers.
  • Don’t force the relationship with your step-child; let it happen naturally over time.
  • Not in every case, but in most situations your step-child already has a mom/dad, so realize that you aren’t trying to replace anyone, you are simply an added component.
  • It takes a village to raise a child” is a good philosophy to hold onto. The more people around the kids who are there to love and protect them, the better.
  • Open communication and appropriately set boundaries have contributed to us weathering some tough storms over the years. Remember, it is everyone’s job in the family to respect each other.
  • Whenever possible, go to your kid’s extra-curricular activities together. We have had situations with “Mom” and “Step-Mom” at the soccer field, sitting side by side, sipping coffee and cheering for the team. This is a wonderful way to truly show your kids how much you love them.
  • Don’t put your kids in the middle of any situation. And don’t make arrangements through them. Instead, work through scheduling conflicts and any other issues between the parents.
  • Don’t discuss any financial issues in front of the kids. Do you want your kids to feel that they are property? That is how they internalize it. Simply don’t do it.

Above all else, realize that your kids never wanted to go through divorce. So do everything you can with that in mind. Be patient, love them, and be there for them through it all.

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