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Surviving the Blended Family

Bailey's Island 11
Photo by Sharon Buck

It’s no secret. More than 50% of all marriages in the US and around the world end in divorce. It’s a very sad statistic. And with most of the those marriages, children are involved. If both parents aren’t on the same page the children could suffer. When those parents start new relationships, those new couples need to realize the children in the relationship STILL always come first, no matter whose children they are.

Trust me. I’ve been there.

Camping 2
Photo by Sharon Buck

When parents with children divorce, the kids should ALWAYS be the main concern. I am very happy to be on great terms with my ex-husband and, luckily, his new wife. They are good people who are good parents and we are on the same page when it comes to parenting issues.

That page includes making sure Anderson goes to church, follows the church rules, uses manners and strict bedtimes, among other things. We have a set schedule each week that Anderson knows where he is going to be. We are all involved in his school and make sure his teacher knows we are watching his homework. We tell each other about upcoming events that Anderson is or will be involved in, including sports. And, if we each have something special we’d like to do with him that encroaches on the others’  time, we ask. We don’t just do. Politeness goes a long way.

It HAS to work. Even if we have disagreements, he doesn’t need to see those. He needs to see that all of us are working toward a happy and healthy Anderson. No child needs suffer because the parents aren’t mature enough to compromise and do what’s best for them.

Chad has two children and when we decided to introduce all three kids to each other we took them to Joker’s in Auburn where they could spend a little time having fun. Much to our surprise EVERYONE got along. Now, I’m not going to lie. It isn’t always perfect. The kids do argue and punishments have to be handed down. It’s not fun, especially when you’re not the parent of that child. Who wants to become the wicked step-parent? But it CAN be done…as long as it’s done with love and understanding.

The most important thing we remember is that our kids are both our number one priority. We LOVE our relationship and make it work…and WANT to make it work. But if any of our kids have something going on, we know it’s our job to be there to support them, whether one parent or both of us. Our lives will take a backseat to them.

Relationships can be hard. With children, harder. But they CAN work. Follow these steps:

Be on the same page with your relationship and your ideas of parenting.
Communicate to your partner and your children.
Understand the other’s position with their past and ex.
ALWAYS let the children know they are loved.
Put the children first.

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