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Monday, June 21, 2010

Creating a Stable Stepfamily: Have Fun Together

First, I want to give a belated Happy Father's Day to all the great stepfathers out there. Father's Day can be an awkward day for some and if it wasn't a great day, try not to take it personally.

Loyalty conflicts can get in the way with our stepchildren, preventing them from expressing their feelings and acknowledging their love for their stepparent. As a stepfather, affirm yourself for the role you play and re-commit to the journey, working to make a difference in your stepchild's life.

We only had three of our five children together for Father's Day but made the best of it to create a fun day for all of us. After church, we celebrated at home with a special lunch and gift exchange so the kids could show their appreciation to their dad/stepdad. My girls acknowledged the significant impact their stepdad, Randy, has played with them and thanked him for his role as their dad. Thankfully, loyalty conflict is no longer an issue because of the bonds Randy has created with them and the lack of involvement from their biological dad.

Since it was too hot to do anything outside, we opted to go to the movie, which we rarely do as a family. We drove to Little Rock to see Toy Story 3 and enjoyed the entertainment, complete with cokes and popcorn. When we left the theater, the sweltering heat prompted us to head to a nearby Baskin-Robbins. We enjoyed lively conversation about summer camps and a family vacation in the upcoming weeks.

As we headed for home, we reflected on our time together as a stepfamily. My husband and I have made a lot of mistakes as stepparents. But we're committed to the "long haul" in our relationships, and we see some rewards for our efforts. We're able to have fun together as a family, which hasn't always been the case.

If we're seeking stable relationships in our stepfamily, we need to spend time together. Bringing the kids together at least once a month for a fun activity creates special bonds and a sense of belonging to the family. Even if it's not possible to have all the kids together every time, it's worth the effort to spend time together with those you can.

We'll talk about additional thoughts on creating a stable stepfamily in upcoming posts.

How can you have fun together in your stepfamily?



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