Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Managing blended family is a labor of love

Becoming a step parent is an important promise, and the choices you make and the environment you create will have an effect on all of your family members.

Take a time-off together
Hard work
As step parents, strive to make your blended family that unit of love and belonging. It is a hard job. Sometimes, after a long day, you get home and what you would really like to do is unwind. Your blended family, however, needs you to stay in gear and engaged for a while longer. As you and your spouse prepare dinner, manage the kids and the dog, check the mail, sign school permission slips, and check to see what there is for homework. You are giving your undivided attention to that challenging hands-on activity known as managing a step family.

Building a blended family
Step parenting and managing something as diverse and as prone to contention as a step family often takes more effort. A solid relationship is crucial if you are to be successful as a couple, not to mention as effective parents and step parents. If the prime relationship in your blended family is not working well, all step family relationships suffer. A blended family usually comes together after the loss of a nuclear family. For every remarriage that does not succeed, a blended family is lost, too. Sustain your material relationship. You deserve to make a success of it, and your step family deserves to succeed.

Learning to live in a step family
For step siblings as well as for step parents, adjusting to a new way of doing just about everything is hard, when everything had always seemed so normal. While blended family ground rules are usually best formed by consensus, you should establish some non-negotiable rules to be set in stone such as treating others with respect and consideration.

Building your blended family is hard and definitely a labor of love and dedication. Not every day will feel like a success, but every once in a while, a couple of the step siblings will unite against something you have said or done as parents.  And you will realize, hey! They agree and are working together! Small victories come from unexpected places.  And they give those of us managing blended families reassurance. For more information on how to manage a blended family, contact The Blended and Step Family Resource Center.

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