My guest blogger this month is my Twitter Friend Shawn Hartwell from Canada. Shawn has some great suggestions on how to improve bonding in your stepfamily.
Bonding with your new stepfamily is rarely easy. It doesn't need to become a struggle . doesn't it feel normal in the morning to grab that cup of Joe? What if bonding with your stepfamily could be that simple? When you are automatically executing commands like your morning coffee, you're executing a habit. Your brain has created neuropathways (information highways of your brain) connecting waking up an action in this case coffee.
Habits can be used for positively to create life changes that become automatic.
Let’s look some habits that could be used to improve your bonding efforts:
Communication: This habit is the cornerstone of all relationships. Getting your point across effectively will make a difference: How do you know that your stepkids behavior isn’t their method of communicating with you? People will converse in their own way. Take the time to understand this.
Attention to detail: Often the most important facts are right under your nose. When a step child is acting out, take the time to give attention to the details. Little things often are the largest parts of relationships. Picking up on small non-verbal cues that your partner is exhibiting before an argument, is a perfect example of smaller details.
Showing your love properly: A number of stepmoms have commented: I constantly felt like I was doing all of the work to build the relationship. Doesn’t that sound exactly how a stepkid might see things? They’re putting in all of their efforts while falling on deaf ears. We don’t understand that they are showing us love. No matter how angry you might get or hopeless things feel, never stop showing your stepkids you love them.
Teamwork: Working with other people is going to become vital at some point in life. Get used to it. When you’re part of a blended family prepare for it to be even more vital. Learn to work with your stepchildren and their needs, wants, fears and aspirations. You shouldn’t overlook the teamwork needed between yourself and your partner. When everyone is working on the same team you’re headed for success.
Problem Solving: Problems are everywhere. They’re both internal and external (caused from forces within or outside you.) When I was growing up my parents always said, “It’s not about what happens to you (or problems you face,) it’s all about how you deal with what you’re dealt,” and those are some powerful words. Never forget that solving problems shows that you’re able to deal with whatever situation life throws at you. That includes your(possibly) unruly stepchildren.
All of the above are habits you can choose to form or might already have developed. When behavior becomes automatic you don’t spend time over thinking. You spend your time with actions. Charlie Chaplin once said: “We think too much and we feel too little.”
This article was written by Shawn Hartwell, founder and CEO of Stepspeak. Quebec Canada
Contact Shawn at email@example.com
Janice R Love, Author
First Lady, Mom, Stepmom and Divorce Ministry Coach