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melissa@blendedfamilypodcast.com

This episode is all about maintaining intimacy with your partner while managing a blended family.  It can be so hard to do!

Listen to my conversation with Sibel Guelseren.

Sibel is a Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, Board Certified Addictions Professional, Board Certified Sex Therapist, and Life Coach with over 15 years in Experience.  Sibel earned a Master of Education Degree and a Specialist in Education Degree, both specializing in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Florida. She is also a Graduate of CoachU’s 3-year prestigious Coaching Program and works with clients on various life and work issues. She is an Approved Supervisor for Marriage and Family Therapist Interns.

 

Sibel and I talk about many issues that blended families face sexually, such as

 

  • high stress levels interfering with sex life
  • scheduling sex
  • how to manage privacy issues
  • how to keep things exciting and fun
  • communicating about sex
  • sexual compatibility
  • past sexual trauma
  • when to seek professional help

 

 

If you want to contact Sibel Guelseren, use the following

By phone at 386-334-3777

Website www.anewcounseling.net

 

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melissa@blendedfamilypodcast.com

It is so important to bond with your stepchildren.  Your stepchildren will always be a part of your partners life, therefore will be a part of yours.  We are all built with an innate quality to love and cherish our children unconditionally.  We don’t have the same built in feelings about stepchildren.  The relationship with our stepchildren needs work to grow.

 

Age plays a big role in how we bond with stepchildren.

 

Elementary school kids are easiest to adapt to their parents new partner.  At this age, children are less judgemental and more willing to give and receive love.  The best ways to bond with children this age are to do a lot of talking and listening.  Discipline is also essential at this age to help establish respect and boundaries.  Other ideas are to play together, take part in their daily rituals, or bake something in the kitchen.  Love, interest, and attention is what they need to help form a bond.

 

Pre teens and teenagers are an entirely different situation when it comes to establishing bonds.  They can hardly bond with their own biological parents at this age.  If they are being difficult, you can’t force a bond.  What you can do is gently attempt to connect. Try to engage or start lighthearted conversations, make them a favorite meal, and take an interest in their life.  Don’t be discouraged by a moody or angry teenager.  They will grow up, and most likely will appreciate your previous efforts.

 

Adult children who are over 18 can be harder to bond with, as they will be moved on and involved in their own lives at this point.  Honor the relationship they have formed with your partner over the years.  You can invite them over for holidays and dinners to get opportunities to get to know them better.

 

If everything you try does not result in a successful stepparent and stepchild relationship, your relationship with your partner doesn’t need to suffer.  Everyone in the home should always maintain a level of respect towards one another as a rule.  Therapy is a useful tool, and sometimes time makes all the difference.  Never give up on trying to bond as a family unit, and working on the special bond between a stepparent and stepchild.

 

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Healthy communication is an essential part of any relationship, not only those in blended families.  However, in the blended family, communication is key to success.  It is important for all members of the family to communicate, not just the parents.  I have three tips for healthy communication, which are

  1. Communication is NOT Confrontation
  2. Be open and honest
  3. Listen

 

  1. Communication is not confrontation.  This means that when you communicate, it does not need to be a fight, but rather a discussion back and forth.  It is important to bring down those defensive walls and allow the space for calm talking.

 

  1. Be open and honest.  This seems simple.  We need to tell the truth, to ourselves, and our partners.  Hiding one’s true feelings only builds anger and resentment.  We need to be able to tell the people we love what is on our mind so we can resolve any issues.  When it comes to the children, it is also important to keep the lines of communication open.  This will become especially important as they enter into the teenage years.

 

  1. Listen.  Instead of thinking of the next thing you want to say, you must actually listen to the person as they are speaking to you.  This seems obvious, but so many of us are not fully paying attention in our daily conversations.  This includes our children, who we often have a tendency to tune out sometimes.

 

Here are some other ideas to try to encourage healthy communication.

 

For a shy child who keeps their feelings to themselves, purchase a special notebook just for the two of you to share, where they can ask a question, or talk about their feelings.

 

Practice repeating back information you are given for effective communication.  So when someone voices a complaint, you repeat back what they are saying so they know you are truly engaged with them.

 

Last, do not use the children as messengers to deliver information to an ex.  This is unfair, confusing, and usually causes a problem.  Communication with an ex should be done just with you and your ex, whether by speaking, email, or text.

 

You will find that your family will thrive when you can achieve healthy communication.  It is something that you must continuously work on, but it is so worth it in the long run.

 

Please join the blended family community!

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Send questions or feedback to melissa@blendedfamilypodcast.com

 

Image courtesy of stockimages at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Dont miss this great interview with Heather Rampolla!

 

Heather Rampolla is stepmom to two teenage daughters, host of Fresh Eats Radio and creator of Fresh Eats Detox. She helps busy moms, wives & entrepreneurs rid of overwhelm when trying to eat healthy… you know, like picky eaters, or fitting in real foods when you’re managing a busy schedule. She teaches you how to easily add in more of the good stuff so you can look good & feel good.

Heather has been featured in Mind Body Green, Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy Wellness Revolution, Organic Eats Magazine, Real Foods Witch, The Mogul Mom, and more.

 

Blended Families face extra challenges when it comes to feeding a family.  Kids are bouncing back and forth from home to home, which makes it really hard to establish rules when it comes to food.  Teaching your children to make healthy choices is a challenge and so is getting everyone on board.  Heather has some great advice on how to manage all this and even save some time so you are not living in the kitchen.

 

After you listen to this conversations, please visit Heather Rampolla at her website and her podcast.

Here are all of Heather’s links:

Website

Facebook Page

Twitter

Instagram

Podcast

 

 

Thanks for listening

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Write to me at melissa@blendedfamilypodcast.com

 

 

 

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