Love is more about giving than it is about receiving! Do we all agree?
Step parenting stretches all of us, parents and kids, in the best possible ways.
I speak from experience. I met my stepdaughter when she was 7. Shortly after meeting her, my husband and I were transferred to Hong Kong. She actually travelled ALL BY HERSELF for 10 years to spend summers with us … in Hong Kong! On one occasion she was left behind in a room at the Tokyo airport and missed her flight. She was a remarkable trooper. After a few of these flights, she made a cassette recording to play for people when they asked her about her family because it was all too confusing for her to tell the story every time someone asked. She was a NYC girl … what can I tell you? Very precocious and wonderful! Voila! She now has 3 amazing kids of her own! Needless to say, this is a tiny, nutshell version!
The most difficult aspect for me during those years was to figure out my role vis-à-vis her, her mom, and her dad – my husband. What I discovered is that it can take incredible finesse at times to feel comfortable, requiring masterful communication skills between all the parties. When that’s not possible, which is often the case, rather than damage your relationships, it’s a good idea to reach out for support.
Are you a stepparent or about to become one? The many mixed emotions may surprise you. If the child is old enough, no longer a minor, you may get to simply enjoy each other and build a gradual relationship. However, if they are younger, it’s wise to plan and get organized.
Challenges of a blended family may involve:
- Building rapport when the child is competing for your spouse’s attention
- ‘Parenting’ a child who moves back and forth between families and feels he/she doesn’t need a second ‘Mom’ or ‘Dad’
- Defining the stepparent’s role regarding discipline, maintaining family values, respecting house rules, meals, etc.
- Keeping communication open, respectful, and honest between the biological parent and stepparent
- Blending the stepchild with the parent’s biological kids and vice-versa.
Family Life Coaching will support your blended family with the help to:
- Save your marriage
- Negotiate healthy boundaries
- Communicate your needs positively, clearly, and regularly
- Balance your relationship with your biological children with your relationship to your stepchildren.
- Build a relationship with the child that’s meaningful to both of you