Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try, our blended families may not always blend the way we’d like them to.  It is extremely difficult to take so many varied personalities and throw them together – sometimes for only a few days at a time – and expect them to click perfectly, but you can make a difference by always treating the children with respect, never expecting more from them than they are capable of giving, and by not using them as pawns in an emotional adult game of manipulation.

While adult stepchildren are a different matter altogether, minor children need to be handled – literally – with kid gloves.  Biological parents should communicate with their children about impending changes in their lives, future stepparents should be introduced slowly and cautiously. Stepparents should be exceedingly patient, not forcing acceptance before the children are ready.  Keep your expectations minimal.

In the beginning, we were all strangers living in the same house.  We shared meals, went to movies together, and had one thing in common: we all loved him. Would it be enough?  Would this one man who brought us all together be the glue that turned us from strangers living as roommates to a family?

This is an excerpt from Shadra’ s book, Stories From a StepMom, available on Amazon Kindle. Read more or request a review copy.

 

One thought on “Blending Families So Kids Aren’t Casualties

  1. All I can say is that our husbands have not just an equal but a greater responsibility to discipline the children, to set boundaries, revoke privileges for a time, and to stop doing things that enable bad behavior and that put the family in an uproar or causes lots of stress and hardship.

    Your home is to be a haven of safety, peace and love. Not perfection, but not one that launches these kids into the world behaving badly. The kids may be hurting or confused, and boundaries that are enforced will give them the safety, direction, and loving and firm guidance that they need to navigate all of this and life in the future.

    You and your husband have a right to peace, and the kids deserve loving boundaries that will bring the family (or at least your home) into harmony. a0If they are older and choose not to participate, that is their problem/choice and maybe their loss, but the door is always open in/for love and mutual respect, not for bad behavior.

    The husbands may be at a loss as to where to begin, or how, and how it will help rather than cause them to lose their kids. Well, right now, if things are in an uproar and you’re in hell, everyone is losing! Start anywhere and build from there, start having discussions and plans of action for the next time something happens if you were caught off guard. Have a family discussion (as scary as it may seem). I found that what my husband needed, was a plan. He even told me so and felt so much better when he knew what to do and why, by making a plan and seeing the bigger picture and how things weren’t working.

    The principles are the same: everyone gets treated with respect and no one abuses anyone in any way. Everyone takes responsibility for their own behavior. The goal is the same: peace, harmony, respect, and good behavior for their own future. Don’t even make the goal to be good feelings, or love from them; those things can’t come until a lot of the garbage is stopped and the kids learn to toss it out and make better choices.

    Remember any bright moments and praise them to your husband, and it will help open his eyes and lighten the load and energize him (and you) for the future. Momentum. Helping him see that he will probably get push back and even manipulation and blame from the kids at first on any issue, because they are used to things operating in a certain way and with them being more in control.

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