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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Just Ask Joyce: Help for a Blended Family


Q: I recently remarried after being divorced for five years. My 7-year-old son is enjoying having a new dad. My 13-year-old daughter is not. She is disrespectful, resentful, and downright hateful to my husband. Who do I honor in this situation when I love them both?

Joyce: Becoming a teen and a stepdaughter can be hazardous to everyone concerned. Keep in mind that kids rarely want parents to divorce. Their inner struggle centers on loyalty. If they find themselves accepting of Stepdad, it can feel like a sell-out of Dad. Contrary to this, if Dad is neglectful and/or a jerk, a child’s anger for not having a relationship with him can transfer to the substitute. Boundaries must be established. Respect absolutely is expected. But remember, kids are still kids until they grow up. They are trying to process life on a field they haven’t played on yet. Be patient, firm, and always loving. Sooner than later, a child will come to understand your love was never displaced. So, who do you honor? Both. Your love for your husband is on a different plane from your love for your child. Find the balance. It usually meets in the middle.

We'd love to hear from you if this has happened in your family.  Please leave us a comment below with tips on how you handled it.


Write Joyce Oglesby, Family-Life Fitness Pro, at joyce@JustAskJoyce.com. Check out my books and other resources today at JustAskJoyce.com. Listen to The Just Ask Joyce Show M-F at 10am on WNDA 1570/WLRS 1600 AM, or stream it on TuneIn.

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