6. Do not expect gratitude from any of your children as they are growing up. They are going through so much! They need you to love them with compassion, stating that respect is necessary, but also with understanding for all they are going through -- even when they are completely unlovable. If love comes, wonderful. If not, understand that you are not doing what you are doing for thanks or appreciation. Most of all, hug your partner. And more!
7. Do not exhaust yourself. Nothing you do for the holiday has to be perfect. Get help in the cooking and chore department from all present.
8. Find new family rituals to enjoy as a blended family, ones not part of the original family.
9. Take time to make love with your partner. It will strengthen you and help you to keep your sense of humor, so necessary in all parenting, but especially so in step-parenting.
For the parent:
1. The man or woman with you now is in a very hard role. Always show him or her respect and support!
2. Do not flirt or become overly involved with your ex. Be kind, but keep the relationship one of a professional nature. Remember that you are divorced, and your "business" together is your children.
3. If any of the above step-parenting advice applies to you, use it.
4. Thank your partner with regularity for all she or he is giving to make your family work.
For both parents: Remember that “unfinished emotional business” with parents, who have been allowed to become intrusive in a first marriage, is a major cause of the failure of marriages with good potential to succeed. If you are not aware of this, the lethal “unfinished emotional business” will be acted out with your children.
This conversation is in the “to be continued” department. Let us know how your holiday has evolved. Good luck!
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