Can Blended Families Work? In 2015 a story went viral of a dad who was walking his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day when suddenly decided to stop and grab her step-father to join them. What an emotional yet beautiful picture of two men who love the same girl sharing the honor of giving her away.
It would be nice to think that all blended families share this type of respect for one another but we all know this is not always the case. The truth is that blended families can work once the adults get past their own issues and turn the focus onto the children involved.
Realize that the step-parent is not the enemy.
They cannot replace you. In fact they may add value to your child’s life if you allow them to and even become an ally. This means you don’t bad mouth them to your child or undermine them. This will only cause your child to feel confused and as if they are in the middle. Give the step-parent the benefit of the doubt they may surprise you. You will also be giving your child an amazing example of how to extend grace.
Don’t shy away from boundaries.
This may not be possible in all situations but whenever possible work on your relationship and communication with your ex. This will be the only way that you will be able to set boundaries as it pertains to your child and their step-parent. This may require the help of a professional but totally worth it. Keep in mind that this is your child and you have a right to speak up. The better relationship you have with your ex the easier this will be.
Always put your child’s best interest first.
Divorces are messy and difficult on children. A healthy child is one who is loved, feels safe and accepted. Regardless of how you feel about your ex and or his new spouse you all should have the same focus – to give your child a warm loving home. Learn to work together and keep peace for your child’s sake they deserve all the love and attention they can get.
Often time’s parents find themselves feeling fearful that they will lose their child to the new person in their life. Insecurity sets in and they find themselves wondering if their child prefers the step-parent and if some day they may even love that person more. It is absolutely normal to feel that way trust me I’ve been there. Becoming a blended family takes a lot of maturity and focus but can be very rewarding not only for the child but also the parents. If you are trying to navigate through a blended family situation and feeling stuck get help. Find a therapist that can help you work through your emotions while setting healthy boundaries. I have firsthand experience and understand how difficult it can be.
If you are still struggling with your family dynamic then call Life Counseling Solutions today at (407) 622- 1770. Our expert therapists are here to help! Or click here to schedule your first appointment online.
Author: Veronica Concepcion