Blended Families with teenage or young adult children. How is this working for you???

Alicia - posted on 06/25/2009 ( 11 moms have responded )

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As my children were younger they appeared to adjust well to our marraige but now that they are older they have gotten more opinionated (in a negative way). I've been with my children longer and I am the secure and stable foundation in their lives. To me this is extremely important. But I am obligated and committed to my 11 yr relation and 5yr marraige. Both parties pulling for my undivided attention is driving me nuts. What am I doing wrong ???

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Angela - posted on 06/29/2009

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I also have a very large blended family and some of which are of the teenage years. I have 2 girls from my first husband (17 & 10). My boy friend has 4 kids that live with us (14-boy, 10-girl, 7-boy, & 4-girl). Plus he and I together have 2 boys (1 1/2 & 2 1/2). We have dealt with the problems and headaches. The 2 oldest fight just like they are actually siblings, but when it comes down to it they would be there for the other one. You have to listen to their concerns and problems. We have found out they feel we treat them differently, so we have tried to be very fair with the rules, punishment, curfews, etc. My best advice would be to have family meetings and talk out anything that is bothering them. Good luck!!

Sara - posted on 06/27/2009

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Alicia, I think you have taken an excellent approach. In my opinion it is most important to maintain a health marriage. If the marriage struggles the whole family will struggle. If you let the kids take charge of your relationship you will be in trouble. Just by reading your post I have no doubt you would ever "choose" your husband over your children, but you are the adult and they are the children. You must remain in charge and when boundaries are set kids tend to respect them (even when they try to buck a little).

We also have a blended family. The older two are my step-children. My son is only 9 but still appears well adjusted in the relationship. My husband is the one in our family who is always trying to balance and juggle. We all get along well, but his children have vocalized on occasion that they feel my son is taking their place in his life. We both talk frequently about how to walk that line to ensure the kids always feel equal. It is a major challenge.

Kate - posted on 06/26/2009

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I don't think you're doing anything 'wrong'... I have an 11 year old from my previous relationship and I'm now married and have another son, who's 10 months old.

It is difficult with working full time and looking after the children / house etc, but I still try and set aside time for my older son. Sometimes it's just talking about school, friends, or looking at stuff on the laptop with him. I know he feels left out, as occasionally he will comment that I'm 'always playing / looking after his brother' but by letting him stay up later occasionally or taking him out on a 121 basis it improves dramatically. I try and have some time with Oliver, just going to the park or for a bike ride a couple of times a week, so he knows he's not being pushed aside to make room for his brother.

The other thing that I am fairly strict on is bed times. This means that my husband and I know that by 9, we have some time to ourselves.

Hope this helps. x

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Leslie - posted on 09/28/2011

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I too have a blended family. I have 3 adult children who all have children of there own. I also have a 14yr old stepdaughter that my husband and I gained custody of 2 yrs ago. The problems that arise are of my stepdaughters jealousy of my adult children. Recently we celebrated my birthday, and my adult children and my grandchildren spent the weekend with us. I do not get to see them all at once very often, as they live a good distance away. My stepdaughter was not willing to join in with any activities or spend time with us. My adult daughter asked her what was wrong and was told, quote..I am sickof u $%$&*%$ people and want u to leave...unquote. I am concerned about her attitude, however she has me each and every day. I chastised her for her swearing and her rudeness to my family in private but her rudeness continued throughout the weekend, and extended to include me. I feel like I handled it all wrong and would appreciate any advice that is offered.

Dawnette - posted on 08/11/2009

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I have had some similar issues. My husband and I (seven years married) have 4 teens now in our blended family. Three things that have helped us (sometimes): 1) pick our battles, 2) remember what it was like when we were teens and give them a reasonable amount of freedom with clear rules, 3) schedule time (we write it on the calendar) for biological parent time, step time and parent (just my husband and me) time. Even if it is just "underwear shopping". That way everybody sees that they are getting some time together.

Katherine - posted on 08/09/2009

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I was just directed to this web site,I think it is great! I have a 14 year old son and a 10 year old son.Their father and I have been split up for 5 yrs.,[he's never really been a good influence on them.] I met this man about 4 yrs ago thruogh my brother-in-law.He has a 13 year old son.After 3 years ,or so,we decided that we wanted to live together. We built a house and we lived together for 10 months, until i couln't take the problems he and my children were having.We are still seeing each other and he wants us to move back in. He only has his son a few hrs. a week and every other weekend.Mine are there all the time,which is fine.But, for about 6 yrs.my boyfriend lived alone ,not used to having kids around w/the constant arguing and the way they've been raised.He bases everything on grades.And he's old school for the most part.He has suggested counseling. Other people I have talked to, who've been in similair situations say it doesn't work.Any advise on how we can all live together AND ALL be happy w/each other?

Yashika - posted on 07/14/2009

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Hi Alicia! For one I have learned that a house divided is a house that will not stand. The kids have to know that there is no division in the house and that no matter what you and spouse are the adults and respect, again respect is a very important factor as well. It's okay to be opinionated cause I give my kids their space and time to do so; but they still had to remember that they are the kids we are the adults! It was hard for me as well but my blended family has learned to adjust! There was coaching on both ends with my spouse because he didn't have any kids previous and with my 11yr old who was 7yrs old @ the time. But it has worked out beautifully! So remember god, respect, and with no division may work out for you! It did for me!

Candy - posted on 07/13/2009

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You're not doing anything wrong. It's just tough as they get older. My son was about 13 when he started voicing his displeasure at my new marriage. I figured he'd get used to it, but he asked to move in with is grandmother. My husband objected, but I thought it best to let him. That was almost 4 yrs ago and he's still not home. I miss him terribly, but he's relatively happy where he is and I talk to him often and see him every other week. He's nearly grown now and has a life of his own. And in small doses, he and my husband get along fine. We have a little girl who's two and a half now, so he likes being an older brotehr , too.

Alicia - posted on 07/02/2009

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Thanks for the encouraging words. Things seem to be working well. I have set some specific boundaries and the children have applied these rules into their habits. They approach this routine with some apprehensiveness, neverthless it is getting easier for them. As long as they comply it makes my world much more easier to live in. It is blessing to be loved so much.

Alicia - posted on 06/27/2009

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Sound advice, however my children are alittle older. I have recently tried something different. I have explained to them in a way that they can comprehend. When they are spending time with their friends or their relationships would they want Mom sitting in their conversations ??? Or sitting between their boyfriend or girlfriend. Of course I got a strong answer of "No way!" When I spend time with my husband it the same principle. Now I think they really have the picture. Men seem to be typically jealous of the children because a mom natually want to spend time with her kids; its the law of nuturing. I'm hoping this soulution will help me. I'll keep the Circle Of Moms updated. Thanks again for your reply my post. (-:

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