Real Life Leading 71: Quick Tips for a Better Blended Family
This week, I was reminded of how much I still have to learn. Providentially, that reminder coincided with the publishing of a podcast interview that is all about lessons and tips for blended families. Anna Seewald, founder of Authentic Parenting (https://authenticparenting.com/) , and I had an excellent conversation on the topic of blended families. Below is a summary of what we discussed as well as a link to our interview. I hope that both prove helpful to you and your family.
8 Quick Tips for a Better Blended Family
1. Seek to apply the golden rule: Treat other people the way you want them to treat you, even when it’s difficult. And sometimes, in order to do this, we must leave past perceptions in the past.
2. Put kids first, especially when it’s hard or inconvenient. At its heart, this is a large part of what parenting is all about, so be willing to put what’s good for the children ahead of your own desires.
3. Make decisions with the long term goals in mind. Keep your focus on helping them become the adult that God has created them to be.
4. Speak gently whenever there is a disagreement [full disclosure: I have failed at this many times with my daughters, and it has caused much damage. I strongly urge you to be aware of your tone, especially when speaking with children.] When speaking with other adults, the best way to decompress a situation is to speak calmly, no matter what. It isn’t always easy, but speaking over someone is not going to get anyone the result they desire
5. Accept that you can never get things 100% your way in a blended family (or in any family, really). Once you accept that, it becomes much easier to do adapt and compromise as necessary.
6. As much as possible, be flexible and adaptable, especially regarding time. There is generally a written “rule” or legal document, but consider being flexible when it is helpful to the kids. [Again, full disclosure: this is something that I’m very thankful my ex-wife and I both strive to do, allowing each other to see the kids when it’s not “our week” with them.]
7. Be willing to apologize for your mistakes. Openly acknowledge when you are wrong. Not only is this the right thing to do, it also sets an example for your children to follow.
8. Make it a habit to speak well of the other adults involved in the relationship. It’s important not to bad mouth each other, and it may be even more important to purposefully point out the positives! Be sure to talk about how loved the children are by all of their parents.
Click here to listen to the interview: https://authenticparenting.com/8-lessons-to-make-blended-families-work?fbclid=IwAR0GkhlwVaNf-R2WyBgv_gfIfMSprTmbZRGpNgNQ5rKY0xh3g2wc9Y82YrU