Providing instruction and discipline in a blended family can be very difficult (and that’s an understatement.) This is a major point of contention for many blended families. When we had Blended Families Week here on the site last year, it broke my heart to read the comments from numerous people that were experiencing turmoil in their relationships because they had vastly different parenting styles than their spouse.
So many people wrote that they were at their wits’ end and were on the brink of giving up if the situation with the kids/step-kids and their spouse did not change for the better. We had a few people admit that they fought with their spouse both in private and in front of the kids when they had differences of opinions.
Unfortunately, when the kids know that there is division amongst the parents, then they will use this against you to drive an even bigger wedge between you and your spouse. Diana Brandmeyer, author of We’re Not Blended We’re Pureed , A Survivors Guide to Blended Families, says that when you are not working together, you are operating as “single threads.” She says:
“But when we, dads and moms, present to our Families “a cord of three strands” with Christ the primary strand – the core – our instruction and discipline gain strength.”
Wow!! Take that quote and put it on your desk, ingrain it in your hearts and in your minds. A marriage centered on Godly principles such as love, respect, and forgiveness will be able to endure any forces trying to drive it apart.
If you want to make some changes towards parenting effectively, then you have got to stop (cease and desist) with the division. You have to become united!! Work together on a strategy for parenting the kids (keeping God at the center of all that you do.)
If you are feeling desperate and like your relationship is not going to withstand the pressures of blended family life, then turn to each other. Try forming a chord with your spouse and God and you will see that no one will be able to pull you apart…not even the kids, not even meddling in-laws, not even the other bio-logical parents.
BMWK family – Are you united in front of the kids? Have you created a strategy for parenting and disciplining the kids? Have you tried documenting the rules of the house and the consequences for breaking them.
Click the link to see more articles from Blended Families Week.