If you have a blended family, here are a few tips to make your weekend visits together a little easier.
If your step –child is only staying with you a couple weekends a month or a couple weeks a year, there are some things that you aren’t going to be able to change or implement in that limited amount of time. While you don’t have to totally give up, just decide what’s really important, and what’s actually possible to work on with your child during the family time you do have.
It’s OK to Have Rules
Just because your child’s other house doesn’t have rules, doesn’t mean your house can’t have rules either. It’s your home and your rules and you’ll need to set expectations that just because something is OK at the other house it might not be OK at yours. At my step-daughter’s house she is allowed to drink soda or watch TV whenever she wants, as well as play outdoors unsupervised. At our house these are things are not allowed. While you want visits to go well, it’s not reasonable to set guidelines and enforce them either.
When a child is switching back and forth between homes, it’s easy to forget item. It can save a lot of time and stress to have back up items wherever possible. We’ve bought back up car seats, jackets, favorite blankets, baby dolls, and more to make the transitions back and forth easier on us and kids. We also have extra clothes, jackets, swimsuits and etc. at our house for when my stepdaughter visits. That way if she doesn’t have something she needs packed in her suitcase from home, we have her covered.
If you’re the step-parent, you’re also always going to be the “other” parent, no matter how long you have been in the child’s life. While you might have a great relationship with them most of the time, there are times when they will throw this in your face, or make comments that are going to hurt like nothing else. Just try to remember not to take it personally and let it go
Got a beef with your child’s other parent’s? Leave it out of ear shot and away from weekend plans. Even if your concerns are legitimate, your child does not need to be aware of them and you don’t need to let them ruin your weekend fun.