Monday, November 17, 2008

Blended Families

Blended Families

How many reconstituted families live happily ever after under one roof like the "The Brady Bunch?" Is it possible for parents to treat all children equally even if they are one large blended family? The blending the families have been one of the more challenging aspects of such marriages.

My family is not one of the above, but because my oldest is twelve years older than my youngest, many people assume that I am the step mom of my older two children. They watch me like a hawk to see if I am an unfair mum. I often take my youngest away on holidays, and people ask me how I could go and leave the older two at home.

Parents should try to be fair and love the children all the same. Sometimes children do misbehave, and they make us upset and angry with them for a while.

As the saying, "Blood is thicker than water." Is it natural for biological parents to love their biological children more than their spouse’s children? However, this should not be the case for step parents-step children relationship. When you decided to marry or form a union with some one who has children, and you have children of you own, you should love everyone, and even if you don't feel it natural to, you have to make a commitment to learn to love them.

Initially, when you first get together, you are so drunk in love. You do not see a problem with having each other’s kids in the new equation, and you think that you can cope with all the kids. However, invariably there will be sibling rivalry, the relationship becomes strained. The normal arguments escalate and erodes the foundation of the whole family.

You chose your spouse or your partner who have children, you got to love them and treat them fair. You should not say, "Look what your kids have done!" Instead you should say," Look at our kids."

As more and more such liaisons take place, people need to attend parenting sessions to be good step parents and be reminded never to say, "Yours, mine and ours." Children can hear what you say, and it will hurt their feelings and their sense of belonging. Some of them are sensitive and will not settle in the new family environment. If you are in this kind of blended family, you owe it to your partner and his children to love them as much as you love your own. Also what you do influence what your own children will do.

This also applies to discipline. What is good for the goose, is good for the gander. You must not punish his children more harshly and let your children get off lightly. It isn't fair. Don't wait until his children run off to their mother or worst still run away from home to become street kids. Then it is too late, a consequence could be kissing goodbye to your relationship with your spouse or partner.

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