Tips/tricks/advice on beginning stages of a blended family

Elisel - posted on 01/27/2015 ( 3 moms have responded )

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Looking for tips, tricks, advice, do's/dont's for the start of a blended family. Everything from how to discuss it with the kids- to what to expect or not to expect. If you could change something you did what would it be....books to read, websites?
Kids ages are 15 girl, 13 girl, 10 boy, 9 boy. 2300 sqft home 4 bedrooms 3.5 baths. Both parents work(dad shift work, mom M-F 8-4pm). 13 girl and 9 boy go with bio dad 4 days per month. Other kids mom passed 4 yrs ago. moms kid would have to change schools, same city but 30 min away.

Proposed arrangements would be boys share room and each girl has her own room. Move to occur in June. Figure we would have summer for initial adjustment period.

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Raye - posted on 01/27/2015

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Expect it to be hard. Kids personalities will probably clash. Rivalries will set in.

You and your partner will have to discuss your parenting strategy to have the same rules for all kids. Be fair. Be consistent. Don't show outward favoritism for your own kids over your step-kids. Take time for yourself. Take time for your partner. Take time with the kids. It's a lot of time. It's a lot of work. But it is rewarding.

How to discuss it with the kids? Sit them down and say this is how it's going to be. Arguing and throwing fits won't change it. Be considerate of their feelings, and try to ease their concerns, but let them know that it is happening and they will have to adjust.

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Raye - posted on 01/27/2015

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I hope you have a good counselor that will help your daughter overcome her stubbornness. My mom, sister and I went to counseling when I was a tween, and I either refused to talk or I would say what I thought they wanted to hear. It won't help if she doesn't participate. Keep talking to her. Ask questions about how things make her feel and don't judge her for her feelings. She may be acting out in the wrong ways, but there are valid feelings underneath if you can get to them. She will have to learn that the world is not kind and not everything will always go her way.

I remember in our counseling sessions I opened up most while playing the "Ungame". It's a question an answer game across many topics but mostly about the player's likes, dislikes, feelings, etc. She still may refuse to answer, but it promotes listening to each other.

Elisel - posted on 01/27/2015

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thanks for confirming my fear of it being hard, LOL.

My main fear is of all 4 kids the "problematic/dramatic" child is my 13 yr old daughter. my main fear is that she will request to live with dad and make my life (and everyone elses) miserable. She seems to be at that age where everything that isnt her way is the end of the world and shes looking to argue over anything. All other kids, like both adults and we mesh well.

I have just signed the 13 yr old up for counseling though. her response "im not going to talk to them at all, I will sit in silence"
I have been making hints that we will move. In fact my own kids brought up the question of if were moving in with my partner. I used the phrase, who knows maybe one day.

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