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My blended-family report card


 It seems like it’s about time that I gave myself a blended family test. After all, my girlfriend and I have been working on this for quite some time now, and I wonder myself if I’m always doing my part as the two of us and our two boys build our new clan.

With that in mind, I went on the web and stumbled onto “this online piece”:http://ezinearticles.com/?The-Blended-Family—Three-Tips-On-Making-Your-Blended-Family-Blend&id=580108 on making blended families work. Seems as good as any three tips I’ve come across. And what better way to rate my own performance?

So, here goes:

TIP 1: Both parents need to stop tooting their own horns. Each parent needs to give up the old ways of family and agree on a unified way that each agrees to for raising the children.

MY GRADE: This has been an adjustment for me, but I am increasingly open. One does get into parenting habits when you’re a single parent, and you tend to cling to them when they worked. So, shaking loose of that in a new familial setting takes some effort. I’m learning, or at least being more open to it. Grade: C

TIP 2:  Each parent and each of the children must learn to accept differences.

MY GRADE: Another adjustment for me, but one I was a tad more prepared for. I think I’ve generally done quite good on it, though. And my son has generally been a trooper, so some of that must rub off on me. Grade: B+

TIP 3: This new family will need to learn how to be courteous to each other.

MY GRADE: I think I’m generally pretty good on this one. Disagreements do at times breed discourteous behavior, and I’m a firm believer that a healthy disagreement now and again lets off some steam. Grade: B-

If I’m honest with myself I’d have to say that there are two major things I’ve learned, and need to heed more often. First, not to let things fester, no matter how minor they seem at the time; and, second, address the more sensitive issues at calm, stress-free times. Do I always take my own advice on these things? Probably not.

But, you know, this whole thing is a work in progress, and the fact that we talk about these things is a real plus. But I could honestly do better. I figure that gives me an overall C+ grade. Maybe next semester I can get up to a B?

This entry was posted on Friday, May 9th, 2008 at 4:11 pm by Jorge Fitz-Gibbon. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
Category: Childcare, Dating, Divorce, Emotions, Family, Fatherhood, Parenting, Single parents




About this blog
Parents’ Place is a hangout for openly discussing the A’s to Z’s of raising a child in the Lower Hudson Valley. From deciding when to stop using a binky to when to let your teenager take driving lessons, Parents’ Place is here to let us all vent, share, and most of all, learn from each other.
Leading the conversation are Julie Moran Alterio, a business reporter and mom of a toddler, Jorge Fitz-Gibbon, a reporter and single father with joint custody of a 9-year-old son, and Len Maniace, a reporter and father of two sons.


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About the authors
Julie Moran AlterioJulie Moran AlterioJulie Moran Alterio, her husband and baby girl — “Pumpkin” — share their Northern Westchester home with three iPods and more colorful plastic toys than seems necessary to entertain one tiny human. READ MORE
Jorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-GibbonJorge Fitz-Gibbon has been a journalist for more than 20 years and a father for nine. READ MORE
Jane LernerJane LernerJane Lerner covers health and hospitals for The Journal News in Rockland, where she lives with her husband and two children. READ MORE
Len Maniace.jpgLen ManiaceLen Maniace is a reporter and father of two sons. READ MORE