We are a blended family. When my husband and I got married, we both had children and now we share one more together. So we have to be intentional about love and respect in our family. It is NOT easy, but with communication and A LOT of prayer, we make it happen. We know that we are not a perfect family and trying to make a replica of our “first” families will only hinder our progress and most likely lead to disappointment. We need to embrace our differences. After some research, I have found the following points to be helpful in order to have a successful blended family.
::Solid marriage. Without the marriage, there is no family. It’s harder to take care of the marriage in a blended family because you don’t have couple time like most first marriages do. You’ll have to grow and mature into the marriage while parenting.
::Being civil. If family members can be civil with one another on a regular basis rather than ignoring, purposely trying to hurt, or completely withdrawing from each other, you’re on track.
::All relationships are respectful. This is not just referring to the kids’ behavior toward the adults. Respect should be given not just based on age, but based on the fact that you are all family members now.
::Compassion for everyone’s development. Members of your blended family may be at various life stages and have different needs (teens versus toddlers, for example). They may also be at different stages in accepting this new family. Family members need to understand and honor those differences.
::Room for growth. After a few years of being blended, hopefully the family will grow and members will choose to spend more time together and feel closer to one another.
In my experience with my stepsons, I realize that I am not there Mom. I will never be their Mom and I shouldn’t try to be. They have a Mom. I am an adult role-model/parent that strives to love them unconditionally, along with their Mom and Dad, and support raising them up into mature adults. I need to be a listening ear, a cuddle on the couch, a playmate, sometimes disciplinarian, but never try to replace what they have with their Mom. It is a delicate balance. And an extremely tough thing to do. I work on it every day. Being intentional in all of my relationships is something that I have been thinking about lately and with a blended family, being intentional is crucial to success. In fact, it is important to be intentional in every family, blended or not. What is one thing you are doing to be intentional with your family?
Adapted from: RemarriageSuccess.com