Yours, Mine, and Ours

(or How to Make a Blended Family a Happy Family)

All about the children:

  • Deal with control issues among siblings
  • Respect each child’s right to space and privacy
  • Meet the children’s needs – without letting them undermine your new marriage
  • Understand the new roles, new rules, and the new relationships for children and stepchildren

As the Parent:

  • Try to be the stepchild’s friend not their enemy
  • Handle key decisions about finances, religion, traditions, behavior and discipline first
  • Learn to roll with change – it’s not the most fun, but the results are worth it
  • Deal with angry and/or manipulative “x’s” away from children
  • NEVER try to replace a parent
  • Keep expectations realistic
  • Don’t force titles such as “Mom” and “Dad” – remember you are not there to replace anyone
  • Spend time just for you and your spouse, but set time aside for you and your child to spend some time alone as well
  • Begin building a history as a new family. Do things together and take lots of pictures. Make new family traditions. (You can do this without replacing or erasing old ones)
  • Discuss and agree on discipline issues and both parents should enforce and provide guidance.
  • Last but not least – Think: “What is Mine is Yours and Yours is Mine.”

Sources used where you can find more information:

Remarried with Children by Barbara LeBay

Sanford and Geare in Growing Pains: Advice for parents of Teens

Blended Family Sourcebook by: David Chedekel