Over 30 million children live with a stepparent in what many call blended families. Although each blended family has a unique set of circumstances, everyone faces similar challenges. There is a book, We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed, to help guide parents in a newfound stepparent scenario.
I had the chance to interview We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer for some tips on how to navigate stepparenting.
OaklandCountyMoms: Should you change your children's last names if you remarry?
We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: The only reason I personally would consider changing my child's last name is if that biological father wasn't present in that child's life. That being said, if the biological father doesn't care and the child wants to change the name then go for it.
OaklandCountyMoms: How can you promote healthy relationships among the siblings?
We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: Tough question! For my family it was about learning to treat the siblings as if they were all my children from birth. From there they figure out their places with each other because getting favoritism from a parent isn't possible. Do activities together tp help them make new memories, build that candy house for Christmas or do it in July and it will remain a fun memory of them all doing things together.
OaklandCountyMoms: What do you do when siblings try to play parents against each other?
We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: That's when you must communicate with your spouse. It is imperative that you know what the other is saying. Siblings in a non-blended family do this too, this is normal. This is about children trying to test the limits.
OaklandCountyMoms: What do you suggest for combining both parents discipline methods?
We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: Again, communicate, before you get married! Does your spouse to be believe in spanking or time out? How do you feel about those? What's your idea of punishment for __? Ask those questions and see where you can both give a little. If you've already married, then make a date and discuss these things soon.
OaklandCountyMoms: What can you do when in-laws resist accepting you or your children?
We’re Not Blended, We’re Pureed author Diana Lesire Brandmeyer: Be nice, as hard as that is when you or your children are hurting, be nice. You have a choice not to interact at all, but if it is possible I think it's beneficial to all to keep trying. This didn't happen for us, now I think if we had taken the time to ask them over for a meal, or a soccer game, something with a time limit we would have made it past the uncomfortable part of blending. Maybe not, but at least we would have tried.
Click here for more info on We're Not Blended, We're Pureed.
About the author:
Lisa LaGrou is the founder of OaklandCountyMoms.com. She and her team work to present quality content to their readers. Lisa likes to provide information and options for families about a myriad of topics without preaching or condoning. If she experiences something, she want to share it. If she doesn't know about something, she tries to find information to share. She's delighted when people contact her with suggestions about content and resources. For more information on how to become a member of Oakland County Moms click HERE