By April Dye, Contributor for US Daily Review.
After visiting with my little sister tonight, I started thinking about families. I think that at times we all wish we had a family like the Cleavers or Huxtables or one of those uncomplicated TV families. But guess what…no one does.
These days you might have mommies and daddies, mommies and step-daddies, daddies and step-mommies, or even just mommies or daddies. With these dynamics, there can be issues. Add brothers and sisters and stepbrothers and sisters and half brothers and sisters and you could have a circus.
One thing I think we all need to remember, even if we are family, we are all individuals with our own thoughts and feelings. We should not project our own onto others.
As a child of divorce, I have some sort of knowledge on the subject of blended families. One thing I think that needs to be put out there for anyone in this situation – a new one or a more prolonged one – always remember that you must not put the children in the middle no matter the age or situation. Pitting the child against the other parent is never a good thing for you but especially the child. Even if the situation is bad and the other parent is horrible, it is still the child’s parent and they will have some love and loyalty to them – don’t make them feel that is a bad thing.
As a stepparent, I would suggest never to try to replace the other parent. Build your own relationship with them.
For parents and stepparents, never ever ask the child to choose who they like better or make them feel like they have to. Don’t get your feelings hurt when they talk about the other parent/step parent or express their sadness in missing them if it happens to be your visitation time.
Don’t take your feelings for the other parent out on the child. Your marriage or divorce is never their fault. Getting married and becoming parents are two very important decisions both of which children have nothing to do with.
No matter the fights, no matter the hurt feelings, always be willing to accept blame and or ask for forgiveness and start over. No one is perfect and everyone deserves a second chance.
Nothing anyone can do to you is above forgiveness. However, even if you have asked and not received always live your life remembering that God will not judge you on how other people treated you, but how you respond to the way other people treat you.
So be forgiving and loving, and remember that you are a family, and that is what is most important.
April Dye is a Christian wife and mother of two. She loves to hang out with family, read, watch movies and television, and her job. You can follow her on face book at www.facebook.com/AprilVestalDye and www.clardye.blogspot.com.