Hi, my name is Brynn and I am Lynn’s daughter here to write to you today about a daughter’s perspective in blended families.
Blended families are difficult for many reasons. There’s a lot that plays into the different dynamics between the children and the adults. Not only do you have to work on the relationship between you and your original family, but then you have to suddenly work on all of these relationships with people that you don’t know, because certainly a few months isn’t enough time to know someone, whether that be an adult or a child. So it’s basically the game of “how well can I get to know you right now and are we naturally compatible?”
I feel like what happens in blended families a lot of the time is the parents make executive decisions on what they think is best for the collective, without taking into account the individual needs of everybody involved. It’s a lot like a little community you start running without really realizing who is gonna start living with who, especially when you’ve got a family as big as ours.
So you say, hey, we’ll just blend the families and rely on love to get us through, and then you slowly start realizing the chaos that ensues:
Oh, your kid is a bad influence on my kid? I didn’t know that would happen.
Oh, I’ve never parented a child like yours before. What do we do?
Oh, I guess my child doesn’t really thrive well in this environment. They like quiet time.
Why does my kid like you more than they like me?
There’s No Right or Wrong
It’s all very interesting, isn’t it? Because when it comes down to it, you really can’t plan how it’s going to go. You made the decision to blend families and you have children, and now everyone is going to relate to one another in the way that they know how to at this point, and unless you’re a parent who’s gonna stop going to work and sit around and manage the relationship dynamics between everyone in the household, because that takes a lot of time, then chances are things are just going to play out how they are going to play out, and you’ll be along for the ride.
This is why I’m saying, it’s quite difficult, and I truly believe there’s no right or wrong way. That’s how parenting is in my opinion, it’s just how well you relate to and communicate with your child.
Relating To Your Child
I feel like people treat parenting like there’s a “right” way to do it. That if you make all the right decisions then your child will behave the way you’d want them to. When the truth is, it’s just like any other relationship in your life. If you take the time to get to know your child, and how they are built and the way that they naturally intrinsically are and choose to be, then you bypass all those times you’re trying to get them to do things they really don’t want to do, because you already know that they wouldn’t want to do it, and so you’d already be asking them to do it in a different way that they really relate to because you know them. Interesting thought, right?
You wouldn’t ask your friend who works on Monday afternoons to go to a movie with you on a Monday afternoon, because you know that doesn’t work for them. They’d probably be pretty annoyed if you kept asking to hang out on a Monday afternoon
Similarly, with your child, you wouldn’t ask them if they want to sit and read a book with you if they’re acting really fidgety and want to go jump on the trampoline to get wiggles out.
You might argue and say that it’s different, because you’re shaping who this little person is as a parent and that’s not your job with your friend. I respectfully disagree.
Kids already meet you where you’re at most of the time, because you’re helping them survive. You’re sharing what you’re passionate about naturally. If you don’t take the time to check in with them and meet them where they’re at with their needs every now and then, they’re probably gonna throw a fit a lot, and there might come a time where they just stop relying on you for things. Which really isn’t that bad if you want your kids to be really independent.
Everything is a Lesson
Which is I guess the main thing I’m trying to say here. None of it is bad, or good, it’s all just a learning experience. You can be a helicopter parent with the strictest rules and keep your children completely safe until they’re 18 because they couldn’t get out of your boundaries, but then they might have trouble venturing into the world on their own and knowing how to take care of themselves and they could find themselves running into a lot of trouble because of that.
You could be a people-pleasing parent who is besties with your child, and so your child does whatever they want, and they eat sweets all day every day, and make their own rules. Well, they have a really fun childhood and see you as the best parent ever, and then they go into adulthood and realize that not everybody is going to give them what they want in life and think they’re the best thing ever made. They’re probably gonna have a lot of lessons to learn due to that.
The question isn’t, “are you being a good blended family parent?”
The question is, “what lessons are you teaching as a blended family parent, and how are you teaching them?”
I myself have never really liked looking at things as black and white. There’s a lot of gray areas in life, and even a lot of rainbows. Go explore some other colors of parenting for a change.
Did you like this blog written by my daughter? Check out this blog I wrote on Connecting With Your Stepfamily.
What is blended family?
According to Your Dictionary, “A blended family is defined as a family made of two parents and their children from previous marriages. An example of a blended family is a woman with two children from a previous marriage who marries a man with three children from a previous marriage.”
What are common problems and challenges for blended families?
Common problems for blended families include children not feeling loved or feeling left out, sibling rivalry, children manipulating parents, ex-spouses, dreading holidays, vacations, marital problems, finances and discipline (or lack thereof).
Can blended families be successful?
Although many stepfamilies seem doomed for failure, it is absolutely possible for a blended family to be successful. While some situations are unhealthy for everyone involved, many families can be saved if there is a desire to work through the problems.
How common are blended families?
Blended families are becoming more common. According to Pew Research 62% of children in the U.S. live in two-parent households and 15% of those are living with parents in a remarriage.
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