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September 23  1-5pm

Developing happy and harmonious relationships in any family comes with its challenges, but blending two different families has its own particular bumps and bright spots.  It can take several years, or more, for stepfamilies to find a groove that is comfortable for everyone.

The early years can be particularly challenging.  Not only are new couples getting to know each other and developing their own relationship, there are relationships with biological and stepchildren to nurture as well.

Does the stress of step-parenting sometimes push you to the edge?  Are you worried and upset about the clashes that your new partner is having with your children?  What can you do to build a healthy blended family and make a good mix? 

Blended Parenting 

Darren Harsin, President of Next Level Discoveries

&  Sue Miller-Harsin, CMSW, LMHP

together will guide couples thru an afternoon

of discussion, tips, and guidelines for Blended Parenting

Tips to consider when striving for a successful blended family: 

  • Solid marriage.  Without the marriage, there is no family.  It's harder to take care of the marriage in a blended family because you don't have the couple time like most first marriages do.  You'll have to grow and mature while parenting. 

  • Be civil.  If family members can be civil with one another on a regular basis rather than ignoring, purposely trying to hurt, or completely withdrawing from each other, you are on the right track.

  • All relationships are respectful.  This is not just referring to the kids' behavior toward the adults.  Respect should be given not just based on age, but also based on the fact that you are all family members now. 

  • Compassion for everyone's development. Members of your blended family may be at various life stages and have different needs (teens versus toddlers, for example). They may also be at different stages in accepting this new family. Family members need to understand and honor those differences.

  • Room for growth. After a few years of being blended, hopefully the family will grow and members will choose to spend more time together and feel closer to one another.

If it doesn't challenge you,
it won't change you.
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