My blended-family report card
Â 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:Â 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?