Does anyone else out there struggle with blending your family? You brought some crumb collectors, he brought some texting maniacs and together you have a love child that you hope the others will also accept and love?
These days, you would be hard pressed to find people who are not from or currently develoing a blended family.
We have one and let me tell you, it has been one crazy ride that I could not have done without my amazing husband.
But, I do have a couple of quick tips for those who are about to begin a blended family or are in the middle of one.
Here is the first installment of my blended family series:
1. DISCIPLINE WITHOUT LOVE = REBELLION
Now, what exactly does this mean? Does this mean that the new parent should not discipline his spouse's kids? Not precisely, but kinda', yeah. (I'm telling this from my womanly point of view, so for male readers just flip "dad" to "mom".)
For discipline to happen effectively, a relationship must be formed first. As a new parent (I say "new" instead of "step"), you must cultivate your friendship and bond with your new child before starting on your road of discipline. There has to be a safety net to catch you and the child when the child becomes angry or upset with you. This will happen! It doesn't matter how good your kid is, eventually, the hurt of the past will come out and get directed toward the new parent. Even more quickly if he is participating in doling out the punishment.
Ok, you might be wondering what you do? You will need to play bad cop just a little bit longer while the family is gelling. I know you were probably so excited to have someone help out with the discipline or just be there as your partner when you're dealing with a moody teenager or other aged child, but this will help your family in the long run.
In our house, we have been married almost four years now and my husband has made small steps in the discipline process.
I have maintained and issued most of the consequences for my kids, which can be draining. You know!
However, the relationship my kids have with him and how they call him "dad" not because they have to but because they have fallen in love with him and want to is priceless and well worth it. They have never said "You can't do that, you're not my real dad!"
He took the time and had to bite his tongue many, many times but the payoff is we have blended a little bit better than many families I have heard of and the kids genuinely love him and accept his guidance.