Tag: blended families

The Process of Blended Families

You take fruit and add some ice cubes, perhaps a little sugar and yogurt and proceed to annihilate these individual items into a smooth and delicious concoction. While the finished product is wonderful and satisfying, the actual blending process can be violent. It requires each individual ingredient be decimated, in order to become part of a cohesive item.

The Process of Blended Families

The same is said for blending families together. It is an arduous task with several players whose roles have all changed. Mom has become not only mom to her own children, but also step-mom to new little people. Step siblings are now learning to coexist with each other. Then, there are the exes. Every individual person in the equation is at a different time and place in their personal growth and now expected to acclimate to the new consistency of their lives.

Some are reluctant to change and revolt causing friction in the newly formed family unit. At times, two different parenting styles collide and outbursts of “you’re not my real mom” or “I don’t have to listen to you”; erupt as a result. These statements can arouse bitterness, anger and hurt feelings. And while everyone’s feelings are valid, it is a tough road to walk on your own.

Remember to give yourselves time to grow together as a family. The old proverbial saying that ‘Rome was not built in a day’, rings true in this situation. Remember that everyone is adjusting. Be patient with one another. Be loving to one another.

If you find yourself and your newly blended family, facing troubles, do not give up! There is hope. Just remember, there are no perfect people or perfect solutions and you are not alone. We are here to help!

Contact us today to set up an appointment.

Counseling Can Help Blended Families Adjust

A blended family can be a wonderful thing. If you have just recently gotten married, for example, both you and your spouse might have brought children from previous marriages into the relationship. Even though this can be a great thing, it can require a bit of an adjustment in the beginning. Luckily, counseling can help.

Counseling Can Help Blended Families Adjust

First of all, counseling can help both children and adults determine if they are coming into the new family arrangement with any previous issues. For example, you or your spouse or one of the children could still have some lingering issues from previous divorces. Dealing with this type of thing on your own can be challenging, but counseling can help.

Counseling can also help you and the other members of your new blended family to communicate better with one another. When you are bringing various people into a new family arrangement, you can expect for the different personalities and feelings to make things difficult in some cases. Knowing how to communicate with everyone can be challenging, but this is something that a counselor can help you with in both one-on-one and family sessions. Once everyone is able to communicate more effectively, you are sure to notice a difference in how smoothly things go in the blended household.

If you are a part of a blended family, or if you are planning on getting married and if there will be a resulting blended family, counseling can be a good idea. If you contact us, we can tell you more about our counseling services and can help set up an appointment.

Blended Families: Tips for Combining Households

While joining families seems so easy when a couple is dating, the reality is not always so beautiful and smooth sailing. Once everyone is living under one roof, things can get ugly between who gets the bathroom first in the morning and who has to take the garbage out. There are a few things to remember when combining households in blended families.

Blended Families: Tips for Combining Households

Establish Rules

Children often have a hard time accepting leadership from a step-parent. So, parents should establish the rules together and relay those rules to all of the children together. This can include things like curfews, electronics time-limits, and household chores. When children know what is expected of them and that both parents are on board with the expectations, it is harder for them to disobey the rules.

Let Everyone Speak

Allow everyone in the family to specify their own limitations or needs. Sometimes there are simple things that kids don’t want to change from their previous lifestyle. If it’s something that can easily be continued like, “No one is allowed to borrow my clothes,” or “I need only Mom to read to me at night,” let them have their limit. Most importantly, make sure that everyone knows everyone else’s limits.

No Special Treatment

This should go without saying but all children need to be held to the same standard. There can be no special privileges for any that can’t be had by all. The negative effects of being left out can last a lifetime. In addition, consequences of negative actions should also be comparative, depending only on age and seriousness of the offense.

Schedule Family Time

Schedule family time and independent time. A family bond cannot be made when family members are never together. Put together a game night or a family dinner night so that everyone can interact in a healthy way. To the contrary, make sure that each individual is getting the right amount of private time. Being part of a bigger family can often mean never having your own space, which is equally important.

Protect Your Marriage

Keep the marital relationship strong. The children need to see a loving relationship with lots of positive communication. This is especially true when one of them comes to you with a problem. If you can work together to handle the problem for the child, they will value your bond and the family bond that much more.

Combining the households of blended families may seem challenging, but don’t worry, it can get better. If anyone in your household is struggling to adapt to the new living arrangement and would like to talk about it, or anything else, please Contact Us. Thanks.

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Tips for Blended Families with Children on Autism Spectrum

When you have as son or daughter on the autism spectrum, it’s often stressful. As a step-parent coming into a family with children who have Asperger Syndrome or related issues, it’s particularly stressful and emotionally draining. Whether your child or step-child is in elementary school or a young adult, it is important to the caregiver to receive help from a trained therapist specializing in blended families. Children and teens on the autism spectrum often have difficulty communicating with words. At times, a child with autism will pull your hair or act out because of confusing feelings. A therapist helps you learn to bolster their social skills as well as provide the right kind of nurture and guidance.

Tips for Blended Families with Children on Autism Spectrum

Teaching your child practical skills

After building some rapport with a new step child or your own child, teach them social skills. The subtle way to teach them is by role modeling proper conversation skills. Model to the child different conversation starters.

Encouraging child to emulate

Another good tip is to encourage your child to notice how other children behave and interact. With judgment or shame, point out how other children take turns or share. By learning to emulate positive social interactions, they find greater acceptance.

Talk about eye contact

Many people with Asperger Syndrome do not like to look people in the eyes. Explain how eye contact is a positive part of socialization. You can model and practice eye contact just as you practice brushing teeth.

Reinforce good behavior

Another tip is to identify positive situations with comments such as “You showed your consideration by opening the door.” Remember to praise publicly and criticize privately. At the same time, a therapist helps you balance your parenting style so you don’t end up with a child with narcissism or other personality disorders which are another challenge for blended families.

A therapist in the Dallas area also helps you relax and surround yourself with good, supportive people as opposed to toxic friends or family who bring you down. Talking to a therapist often gives you the motivation you need to act as the most loving and attentive caregiver in stressful parenting situations.

At Family Restoration Counseling Services, we provide therapy for individuals including step parents and mothers struggling with difficult children as well as difficult marriages. For more information about making blended families work, please contact us.