By Maxine Marsolini
When I married the second time, our stepfamily began as strangers unsure of one another. For trust to be felt between me and my stepchildren, and between my children and their stepfather, would take time to build.
Children are voiceless when it comes to divorce but feel the safest knowing it is still okay to love both parents as before. There is an immediate need to drop defensive posturing with an ex. Parents who choose to co-parent well bless their children with behaviors that exhibit teamwork. Every boy and girl growing up in dual households deserves the assurance that Mom and Dad will make every effort to keep their lives as conflict free as possible.
This family structure is unlike the prior one. Take it seriously. At the same time lower personal expectations. Children adapt, but settling in can take time. An article from The Seattle Times tells the truth about children in remarried homes. While this may seem to be a largely positive change for these children, in reality remarriage can be a mixed blessing?or worse. The arrival of a new adult?often with a child or two from a previous marriage?can turn a child’s world upside down, prompting fears, conflicts and doubts about the child’s role and status in the family.
Count on children acting out, positively or negatively, to establish their position in the power structure of the new family. Extend forgiveness and not just discipline. Naughty behaviors might be masking deeper issues like childhood grief. Take the time to learn about grief recovery because it’s usually going on. Kids aren’t mature enough to explain sad or mad?the feelings emerge as actions and attitudes.
Blending families doesn’t just happen; we purposely journey into it. Though it takes time, even years, God gave us a promise: “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to give you a hope and a future.” (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
### – Notes: Http://www.seattletimes.com/news/lifestyles/html98/step_20000223.html, When parents remarry, kids may need time to feel at home in the new family. Pam Gerhart, Special to the Washington Post.
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