Laugh Together, Stay Together
Stepfamilies need time to adjust because everything’s so new. Schedules have to be adjusted. Priorities have to be aligned. Success depends on developing trust, flexibility, prayer and hard work (not necessarily in that order).
The key is trust. When the road is difficult, you can build confidence by digging in your heels. Your attitude quietly demonstrates: “I’m not going anywhere; I am here for you.” The message will speak volumes to new children and other family members.
Trust will not be earned overnight. But instead of focusing on the toughness of the task, think about the incredible opportunity you have. You’re getting another chance at love and laughter.
You’ll be surprised by the power of laughter. Instead of taking everything seriously, have a sense of humor. Be flexible and see the funny side of life. When you’re able to have fun together, you can bring down defenses and relate to one another.
Create a strategy in responding not reacting to the children, who likely have been coping with divorce or death of a parent. It’s not easy, but there are steps you can take together that position you for success:
- Allow your children to grieve their losses, but don’t allow them to divide and conquer the home and especially you as the parent team.
- Keep your conversations about the kids in private; all of them.
- Stick together as parents and as a family, like a mighty army marching shoulder to shoulder.
Stepfamilies have to be more intentional about sticking together than couples in first marriages. There’s more trying to tear you apart than the first time. Don’t let it.
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