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For those who aren’t familiar with my story I have a blended family since 2002. My wife was a single parent of a son for twelve years until we married. The transition for all us was tough although we knew what we were getting into once married. Statistics show it takes 4-5 years for a blended family to gel and accept their reality.
Becoming a blended family for kids can present it’s challenges. Our son was twelve when we married and the transition was difficult for him. At twelve, there’s certain changes going on with your body as you go from adolescence to teenage years. Your mind starts to change and your friends opinions matter more to you than parents. Imagine being the only child with your mother for twelve years and then your mom gets married. So you can imagine his attitude towards me during the time.
What brought my blended family together were two factors.
-The first one was the birth of my daughter.
This brought all us together as a family. My daughter didn’t understand blended families, she saw all us as one. When she got a little older she wondered why my son had “another father” and why my son called me by my first name instead of “dad.”
When we told her about us being a blended family, she just shrugged her shoulders and continued to love her brother the same way. When you have a child together with your spouse and you already have a blended family, the newborn can bring the family together. They have no awareness of a different father or mother. They only recognize the people under one roof as their family.
-The second was my son visiting his biological father for the summer.
Once my son left for the summer and stayed with his father, it give him a different outlook on life. Not only did he see life away from us, but got an up close and personal look at his biological father. When he came back to us I seen a more mature and appreciative young man.
Do you have a blended family? Are you a single parent in hope of marrying one day? You will have a blended family. Here’s some ways you can have a blended family the right way by avoiding these mistakes:
-Don’t call your kids “step kids” that statement automatically separates the two of you.
When the kids hear you announce them as “step” it reminds them they aren’t yours biologically. Because there’s only a twelve year difference between my son and I, you should see the look on people faces when I tell them “here’s my son.”
-Don’t play favorites.
If your spouse or significant other kids come to your home every other week, don’t give them special benefits. This happens because we try to show them how much we care by showering them with gifts and special benefits. Our time with our children is limited because we know they will return to their biological mother/father next week.
One example would be letting your child eat whatever they want or don’t put restrictions on bedtime. They have certain privileges that the biological kids don’t have. In some cases the biological parent would take their child side quicker than their spouse. This is a big no-no and can cause separation or even divorce.
The parents must be on the same page. You know every other week the son or daughter will be at your doorstep. If the child see that mom and dad aren’t flowing in the same vein, the child will play on the disagreeing parents. When the child know the parents are together in decision making for the family, order will arrive in the home and the family can blend together faster.
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