Blending Families – Part 2

Blending Families – Part 2

Jan 31

What’s Your Priority?

If the success of a blending family, or any family for that matter, rides on the marriage we have to consistently check our priorities.  Our priorities need to be God first, spouse second and children third.  We also need to evaluate how we are living these priorities out.

One thing we can do is to communicate that our marriage is a priority to our children.  A way to do this is present a united team.  Because of the nature of blending two families together both parents will probably have different ways of doing things.  It is essential to set aside time for parental staff meetings where there is a safe place for disagreements.  Because it is so imperative for children of blending families to see the two parents working as a team, these staff meetings may need to take place daily.

Another way to communicate that the marriage is a priority to the children is verbally.  Children often will act out as a result of their pain. This is called signal behavior.   In a blending family often that pain is taken out on the stepparent.  It is important for children to see their mother or father back the stepparent.  This communicates the importance of the marriage relationship.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on Blending Families.

 

Blending Families – Part 1

Blending Families – Part 1

Jan 30

Choosing To Trust Your Spouse

As we begin to head into the Christmas season with all the family dynamics that come along with the holiday, we are going to spend this week talking about blending families.  By blending families we mean a birth parent and that parent’s spouse or a stepparent.   We choose to use the phrase blending family because blending a family together is an action.  It is something that takes consistent effort and communication.  It is not simply a state of being.

There is something that can dramatically affect the success of the blending family and that is the marriage relationship.  The husband and wife of a blending family are not only trying to meld two people together into one unit they are having to work to blend two unique families into one unit.  This means that extra time, care and communication will have to be put into that marriage relationship.   It has to be a relationship that is based on trust because not only are you entrusting your well being to this other person but you are now placing your children’s well being in their hands as well.  Make sure that there is ample time set aside for communication about parenting issues to make certain that you are on the same page.  Making sure that you are out in front of the parenting decisions and are united as a team on these decision will help to breed an atmosphere of trust.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on Blending Families.

 

The Single Parent | Part 10

The Single Parent | Part 10

Jan 27

Dealing With The “Yeast” of Fear

Many of us, especially in this time of uncertainty in society, allow ourselves to live in fear.  We fear the economic state, the state of our country, and sadly for many even the fear of losing their homes.  But the single parent can have many other very real fears to deal with, such as the fear losing the custody, the love, the affection of the child. We all have to get to a point where we are not allowing ourselves to be run by fear, especially the single parent.  The problem is some of the children’s comments that are made, sometimes simply out of anger, can feed those fears. They will use comments like: “I hate being here. I want to go to dad’s… etc…”  When we allow these comments affect us, we’re giving them power and allowing them to intimidate you and make choices that are not good for themselves.
Do the right thing… no matter what happens in the other house.
Take a courageous close look your motives for the choices you make. Is it really in the best of the kids, or is it out of emotions of fear?
Jesus reminds us in Matthew 6:25-34 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes?  Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin.  Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these.  If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith?  So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them.  But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.  Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” A good reminder for all of us to focus on!

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 
The Single Parent | Part 9

The Single Parent | Part 9

Jan 26

Dealing With the “Yeast” of Competition

Another important issue to discuss is how to deal with the competitive feelings if the other parent is in the picture.  It is only natural to want to be the one that is the “best parent” in the children’s eyes as well as those around you.  But allowing those feelings to take root and impact the way you do things is unhealthy. One way to fight this is to know WHO you are and be confident enough, not jealous, to love your kids and be FOR them no matter what they get or experience in the other house. Don’t put the children in a position of having to choose what house they prefer.
Be mature enough to be excited for the kids – even if it’s to the advantage of the ex. They need to feel safe enough to express anything to you without you using what they share to degrade the other parent.
Don’t compete for the love, like, attention or custody of the kids.

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.

 
The Single Parent | Part 8

The Single Parent | Part 8

Jan 25

Dealing With The “Yeast” of Anger

For any parent it is important to know how to manage your anger.  The reason for this is if we allow our anger to get out of control we react to our children in a way that we would not intend to.  We can get to a point where if not dealt with we can even take out our anger on our children.  It is extremely important in a single parent home that anger is managed because there isn’t another adult in the home to be accountable to in this area.

The first thing that we need to do in dealing with anger is know what your “anger triggers” are.  Who or what are the things that push your buttons and cause you to become angry?  Secondly what happens when you become angry or how do you normally act/react when you feel angry?  It is important to know both of these things because you will have to put a plan in place to work on any anger issues.

James 1:19-20 can serve as a great reminder to us, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.”

 

Listen to today’s podcast for more insight on this topic.