9 Tips For Blended Families
Blended families have a whole new set of parenting obstacles that must be taken on with care, love and the idea that it is all for your family's well-being and to form a strong foundation that will last. The following are some tips to help form the foundation that helps make a family thrive and more importantly, last.
9 Tips to Successful Parenting
1. Take it slow! Work at this new relationship just like you would any other relationship. Get to know one another, learn what each other likes and dislikes, and let your relationship take its natural course.
2. Discipline. Have a serious discussion about discipline styles with your partner. Sit down with your partner and discuss your individual parenting styles. Do not immediately overpower the child or step over your spouse. However, do remember that you ARE a parental figure in the home and it is your duty to retain that authority. Tolerate and work with differences. Accept that there are times you must agree to disagree. Seek support. As a couple, you and your partner must back each other up.
3. Everyone is Equal. Treat all children in the blended family the same. Same rules, same rewards and same punishments.
4. Play Fair. Never say anything derogatory about the ex-spouse/natural parent. If the step child hears you say something bad about their mother or father it hurts them. Whether you like it or not, that parent is part of that child and saying something mean or even negative about the person will only hurt the child.
5. Love them in your own way. Show your affection. Simple as that- tell the children that you care for them, that you love them, and that you are there for them. Although it may take some time to get to the point of "I love you" or it may never get to the point that you or they feel comfortable saying it, there are other ways to let the child know you care about them. Make an effort to form a relationship with the step children while be conscientious and clear that you are not trying to take their mother of father's place but you are a positive addition to their life.
6. Maintain roles. Don't let your step children manipulate you. If they ask you to make a major decision, consult with all the parents first.
7. Healthy marriage=Healthy family. Your marriage should always take a front seat. Continually working on and strengthening your relationship with your partner will provide for a healthy relationship that can face the tough challenges of a blended family. Together you can help the children adjust to changes while strengthening family bonds. Issues within the marriage affect the family as a whole and can stunt the relationships to all of the members.
8. Everyone has feelings. Allow the children to have an outlet for their feelings, whether it be about their natural parent, you, or their new household - allow them the opportunity to share those feelings. Expect ambivalence. Feelings of love and hate can change in a matter of minutes, notoriously so for teenagers. Don't take it personally and do demand that although they may feel something they still must remain respectful and consider everyone's feelings and how they are acting on their own.
9. Authority. Remaining a constant source of authority in your household not only helps the step children involved but any natural children you may already have. Authoritative parenting may sound strict to some but really provides for stability and a source of guidance to all the children of the household. Remaining an authoritative figure in your household can allow you to be close with the children but also to allow for rules and expectations that the child will be expected to follow throughout his or her life.
For additional tips and parenting resources, please visit http://www.stepparents.quoteaboutfamily.com
About the Author
Michaeline Miller is a mother of 6 and a licensed family therapist. Michaeline primarily works with blended and mixed families helping them form foundations to work and thrive as a family. http://www.stepparents.quoteaboutfamily.com