Chats with Monika: How to make your blended family work
Tips to Be Successful as a Blended family
- Be flexible. Being rigid is not helpful. Your way is not the only way. There are two parents.
o Make decisions together.
o How do you perceive your role as a parent of the child? You and your partner should have a conversation about this topic.
- Mistakes will happen.
o Don’t throw mistakes in your partner’s face.
o Talk about what is not working, and how you can work to change those things that are not working.
- Have conversations about what the child will call the new parent. For some people, the word step parent may be harsh. Find language that makes everyone feel included as opposed to excluded.
o When you don’t say anything, it may bring about uncomfortable feelings. Be open to allowing conversation.
o Bring the children in and allow them to take part in the conversation. Allowing children to express feelings and not have penalties for their feelings can be a gift.
o Model respect by expressing your feelings without being disrespectful. Use this as a teaching moment.
- Don’t allow the other parent (child’s mother or father) to become “Drama” for your relationship.
o This is the child’s parent, so be careful when having conversations around the children
o Show respect toward the biological parent. Do not make negative statements about their parent. Control yourself and your emotions.
- The biological mother and father may not get along, and sometimes this can negatively impact your relationship
o Allow your household to be a peaceful place by not allowing the other parent “to walk around in your house.”
- Establish Boundaries
- Conversations about the other parent should not be every moment. Address concerns as they arise. Don’t let it linger and create conflict or ongoing distress.
- Conversations about the child’s other parent should be at an appropriate time. For example, this is not a conversation for date night.
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