You are the reason I am here. I love your family, I understand the differentness of a step family and I really want the members of your family to come to a place where everyone knows where they fit. Stepfamilies have to negotiate and renegotiate their relationships. And success is felt when the family members come to acceptance of those relationships. You may never have the same bond or love with your stepchild as your own child but when you come to the place of accepting them and loving them for who they are and have a relationship that is satisfying for both of you, you are successful.
Blended families are not always easy but they can form some very important relationships. Just today I spoke with a woman who recently lost her stepdad and she is devastated over her loss. They loved each other. He was a dad to her and she misses him. She is thankful for the time they had together
Our local school was having a picnic lunch and had invited all of the parents to come to school during their child’s lunch hour. All of the parents who could come would eat with the children outside on the playground, picnic style, and some fun games were planned for the group after they finished eating. Now not all of the parents could come as some had to work or had prior commitments but the kids knew whether their parent was coming and where they were to meet them on campus.
There was one little boy who became extremely upset. I asked him what’s wrong and he told me that his mom had told him that she would be there. She hadn’t shown up. He was bravely trying to hold back the tears but he was visibly distressed. Then another little boy who wanted to comfort him said “Well, my mom couldn’t come today either, it’s okay”. But the first boy with his finger raised and pointed said right back “But your mom didn’t tell you she was coming and then didn’t. My mom said she’d be here but she’s not”.
Children expect their parents to keep their word. Now of course, sometimes we just can’t, but I got the feeling this was not the first time this little guy had been disappointed. If at all possible, keep your promises to your kids. If something absolutely comes up and you just can’t, let them know you are sorry. If this mom had called the office and left a message for her little guy, I’m sure he would have accepted that more readily than her just not showing up. He was heartbroken, he had his hopes up and expected her to be there but she wasn’t. She may have had a great reason, I’m not slamming her, but the point is try and keep your word to your child even if you have to rearrange something else that is also important. Emotionally and psychologically, it is damaging to a child to live this way. Our adopted son’s mother was supposed to have visitation every other weekend with him and he looked forward to those weekends. But she oftentimes had something more “important” to do and this left her son crushed. This damaged him, he felt he was unimportant: he felt rejected and abandoned. To this day, he has difficulty with relationships.
Proverbs 26:28 says “A lying tongue hates those it hurts, and a flattering mouth works ruin”. I don’t think this mom intentionally lied to her son but he was hurt because she couldn’t keep her promise. Scripture says to keep your word even when it hurts you. There are blessings for keeping our word.
If you need additional help in your family, that is what I’m here for. Go to someone who has walked before you and understands what you are dealing with. Most coaching is done over the phone or through skype so we do not need to be in the same area. And because I consider this a ministry, I charge somewhat less than other coaches. I want to help my clients, I want to see their families succeed. If your marriage succeeds, your children will benefit and everyone wins. I look forward to hearing from you. My prayer for you is God will bless you as you blend your stepfamily.
Tune into the e2medianetwork.com and Blending Your Stepfamily. There are other excellent podcasts on this network that I’m sure you will find very helpful.