A wise man learns from his own mistake. A wiser man learns from the mistakes of others.
Proverbs 1:5, 9:9
Wisdom is the principle thing.
External influences create internal chaos.
Valerie J. Lewis Coleman
When it comes to blended families, remember that life is based on change. The better one is prepared to deal with this fact, the better one will be equipped to handle this major transitional phase of their life.
The parents need to agree upon the methods of disciplining the children. Also, before chastising a child, the parent and child must first establish a relationship. Premature discipline may stifle a healthy relationship and evoke retaliation from the child. Children respond better to discipline when love precedes correction (Ecclesiastes 4:9).
LaShawn and Joy Lewis
Couples bring their life experiences into marriage. Your spouse’s style of parenting may differ considerably from yours, good or bad. So to prevent problems; talk through everything from discipline to philosophies on education. One thing is for sure; you cannot be too prepared when it comes to raising children.
The married couple must establish, monitor and enforce rules specific to their household. These rules apply to all the children even if they do not reside in the home. Consistency, reinforcement and agreement are critical to the success of blending families.
Don’t let the other parent run your house! The married couple must establish the rules of engagement for visitations, drop offs, pick ups and vacations, then stick to them. Given the opportunity, the other parent may try to use the children to manipulate your spouse, causing division in the marriage.
Make sure that this is what you want and that you’re ready for what lies ahead. Being a stepparent is hard — much is expected of you, but in the end it’s never good enough.
Unity is essential to the success of the blended family. Both parents must agree to become and stay unified while raising the children. Children will try to divide the family, if given the opportunity. The Word of God is true and must be applied to our lives daily. Can two walk together, except they are agreed? Amos 3:3
Foster parenting is a 24-7, 365 days a year job. Most often, the biological families have abandoned, abused and neglected their children. The children have no reason to trust you and will intentionally do things to test if you will also abandon them. Your only weapon is unconditional love.
When families with children blend, the parents need to set new rules and decide how the family will be managed. Each parent hopes to keep things as consistent and safe for their own children as possible. Identifying specific areas of differences, stating clearly what those differences are and working to find common ground is essential for successful family blending.
Marilyn Barnicke Belleghem, M.Ed, R.M.F.T.
Marrying someone who has children is a tricky situation to entertain. Confidence, compassion, understanding, patience, sacrifice, security, acceptance and the ability to recite (and believe in) the Serenity Prayer on a daily basis are great considerations and prerequisites before treading there.
Quality family time doesn’t have to be a major event. Choose one night a month for dinner and fun. It improves the quality of life and gives children a sense of family identity. In no time at all, your crew will be looking forward to The Funky Family Fun Night.
Our experiences as children help to formulate our interaction as parents with our own children. Abandonment, insecurity, selfishness are generational curses that must be broken if we are to be effective parents.
Valerie J. Lewis Coleman