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All siblings fight, and this is a natural part of the process of growing up.  In a blended family, it doesn’t seem so natural when the step siblings fight.  This causes of lot of stress and unease on the parents.  It is actually one of the biggest problems blended families will face.  There are many reasons why the kids will fight, and there are right and wrong ways to deal with it.

 

An obvious reason why the step siblings fight is that they just may not like each other at all.  When two people get together and create a life, we cannot control all of the family dynamics and relationships of all involved.  They may not like one another because they haven’t gotten a chance to get to know each other better, or they may never like each other at all.  Either way, you and your partner cannot ruin your relationship over this.  The kids will grow up and have lives of their own.  Help them through by talking about it, and if things don’t improve, you can limit their time together.

 

Another reason for dislike can be jealousy, whether the children are aware of it or not.  Jealousy can arise from feelings of insecurity, or from their comparing lives.  When children are jealous, it usually resolves itself as the children get older.

 

Last, some kids fight because this is natural for kids to do.  If you grew up with siblings, chances are you fought with your brothers or sisters too. If stepchildren are close enough to fight, that can be a sign that they view themselves as true family.

 

As a parent, this can be a very difficult stage to go through, and it can put a strain on your relationship.  Together, you must decide how you are going to handle these quarrels.  Make a pact that you won’t allow it to come between you both, and also that you will stand as a team.

 

Some things to remember

  • never disagree in front of the kids
  • never choose sides
  • always be fair with discipline and/or punishment
  • set rules in advance of what is not going to be tolerated
  • teach children how to communicate with each other
  • don’t apologize to your partner for your child’s behavior

 

Even though this can be very trying on your relationship, you will make it through.  Stay close to your partner, because it is you two who will be left with one another when the kids are grown and out of the house.  Kids will be kids, and we aren’t in control of what they do.  This is just a season in your life, and you will need patience and love to get through it.

 

Please comment on the show notes if you have any ideas on helping kids to work things out.  Also feel free to share your personal stories for other listeners to give them hope.

 

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Parents in blended families face extra stress and difficulties, which can create some tension on the relationship. This can lead to excess fighting between the adults, and this can be damaging to your blended family.  Some of the most common causes of arguments could be ex partners, children, money, and scheduling.

 

There are ways to overcome this by learning healthy methods and strategies.  You want to make sure you are fighting fair.  There are good and bad ways to resolve conflicts. First step is to stop using the word fight, which is defined as battle, or combat.  Let’s replace that word with “argument,” or “disagreement.”

 

You and your partner may have very different styles of handling a conflict, and this in itself can cause a huge problem.  Start paying attention to the way you speak to each other.  Avoid using hurtful and negative language.  Avoid yelling and being accusatory.  Instead try replacing with more positive language, and learn to walk away if you can’t, so you can avoid saying things you may regret later. The children are watching your behavior and interactions, and you want to be a good model.  Arguments should not be taken in front of the children.

 

Arguing over the children is the most common type of disagreement a blended family faces.  Do not do this in front of the child.  Talk alone about discipline styles and how you feel things should be handled.

Remember that all relationships endure tough times, and it is perfectly fine and expected to not always agree.  Relationships take work and care. Communication is key to get through blended a family together properly.

 

ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE to make this work!

 

Thank you for listening!

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Almost every divorced couple deals with a disrespectful ex at some point or another after their divorce.  If you haven’t, then chances are your new partner may be dealing with it.

 

Some of the most common issues you may face with a disrespectful ex are

  • an ex who is trying to turn the kids against you
  • an ex who refuses to honor your new partner
  • an ex who is all around difficult to try to hurt you

 

If your ex is trying to turn your children against you, you want to first make sure you do not retaliate by trying to turn the kids against your ex.  Two wrongs don’t make a right.  Try to get to the bottom of the situation by determining what exactly is being said and why.  You can have age appropriate conversations with the kids about what has taken place so they can hear the truth from you.  Always be honest with them, but if you feel they aren’t ready to know the details, by all means, do not share them.  Explain to them that you will be able to disclose more as they get older.  Try to have a conversation with your ex as to how damaging this can be to your children, but if that doesn’t work, you must do damage control.

 

If you are dealing with an ex who refuses to accept the fact that you have moved on, or simply doesn’t accept your choice of a new partner, it can be very stressful to your new relationship.  Figuring out why is the first step.  It really helps to understand why your ex is harboring these feelings of anger or hatred.  Determine if there is any basis for the feelings or they are completely unwarranted.  These feelings usually stem from jealousy of you moving on, or over there being another parent in the child’s life.  Talking to your ex about their feelings may help, but most likely you will have to allow this to get better over time.  When you figure out what you think is the root cause, you can see if there is something you can do to help along the process.  Sometimes they will never accept this person, and in that case, you need to support your current partner, as this is your ex’s problem.

 

It is always tough to deal with an ex that tries to get back at you by being difficult and purposely going out of their way to break rules.  Even though this can be troubling for you, it is best not to show them it is bothering you.  Their sole purpose right now is to make you miserable, so you must show them that is not going to work.  The children are watching your behavior, so it is a must you live with integrity and don’t strike back.

 

The issue of a disrespectful ex can drive a wedge in your current relationship, with your kids and your new partner. It is helpful to recognize that this is the ex’s issue, not yours, and that this common issue usually resolves in time.Your children are growing up fast, and once they are grown, your contact with your ex will be a thing of the past.

 

Thank you for listening!

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Dealing with finances is an issue that every couple must face.  However, it is much more difficult in a blended family.  There are usually more issues in a blended family, such as child support, separate debts and assets, and financial involvements with exes.

 

The issue of finances is best discussed early on in the relationship to avoid pitfalls in the future.  Some topics to discuss are

  • handling of income
  • handling of expenses
  • handling of bank accounts
  • future financial planning

 

You must decide if you are sharing your income, and a lot of that will depend on how much you each make and what each of your financial obligations are.

 

Expenses are a much more tricky topic.  You both need to figure out who is handling what expenses.  How will you divide home expenses and debt? Who is going to pay the bills? Are you going to take care of your previous debts together or handle that separately?  These are all issues you must face and talk about together.  Child expenses should mostly be shared, but again, some of this depends on ages of children and what their needs are.

 

There are three options on how to handle the bank accounts.  You can have completely separate accounts if you both want to keep everything separate.  You will need to decide who is paying for what if you do this.  Another option is to have one pooled account that all of your money goes in and is totally shared.  Last you can decide to have three accounts, each your own account and then one joint account.  Again, here you would need to decide who is paying what and how much you will each contribute into the joint account.

 

Future financial planning includes things like deciding whether to have a prenuptial agreement and dealing with life insurance.

 

All finances in the relationship should be discussed openly and honestly to insure success in the future.

 

Comment on the show notes if you have any advice or tips you want to share!

 

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