More than fifty percent of children in the U.S. are raised in single-parent families. During the holidays, this can cause stress because kids often join their other biological parent — the one they don't live with — to celebrate, and often, this parent has another family.
Blending families is never easy. In fact, the leading cause of divorce among second marriages is the child relationships that are involved. But blending families doesn't have to be a nightmare; it can be an opportunity to show a child that love extends beyond problems between their mom and dad. Stepparents play an integral role in a child's life and can provide insight into the depth of a healthy, loving relationship.
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If you are a stepparent or entering a relationship where blending with the kids is important, there are important things to remember, especially during the holiday season. These suggestions may help you build a bridge of peace with the kids:
1. Whoever has the children should, as much as possible, follow the daily routines the child has from the home in which they live in most of the time. Kids draw stability from routines and when their routine is not followed this may lead to increased anxiety and acting out.
2. Never force your stepchild to bond with you. Bonding takes a long time and it requires that time, not money or gifts. You cannot buy a child's love.
3. Never talk badly about the child's biological parent.
4. Don't try to discipline your stepchild; this is the biological parent's job. It is wise to talk to the child's parent in privacy and come up with a plan together while the child is with you that will work for both of you. As a family, you should talk directly with your child the next day.
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5. When you talk with your stepchild, be sure to listen to them and encourage open, honest communication. Lecturing never works with biological kids or stepchildren. Continue Reading ...
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