September 4, 2012 Keeping a 'Harmonious' Blended Family
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Welcome to our YouTube channel. Our letter today is from Tammy:
"I totally agree and understand your stance on NOT getting remarried after getting a divorce with minor children because I am LIVING it! It's so hard when you and your husband each have kids and you try to mesh your parenting skills (that you learned with SOMEONE ELSE)! It's like oil and water!!
However, we are already married, want to stay married, and I would like some advice on how to keep a more 'harmonious' blended family. Is there any way to do it once you've already taken that step?"
It's difficult. It's unusual it works out well, but I guess it is possible if everybody is motivated and the kids are responding remarkably well to the divorce, you being remarried, and competing with somebody else's kids. I mean there are so many other factors against this working out.
Here's what I would recommend: every Monday after dinner, get your desserts (your tea and coffee and cocoa), and have the entire family sit and talk together about how it's going. And everybody gets a chance, no matter how young or how old. Everybody gets a chance at the table to say their piece, and the rule has to be that there is no anger afterwards. You're not allowed to say, "I can't believe you said that." Everybody's got to be able to say their piece and have it be accepted graciously and worked out.
If somebody's saying, "Well, you know when I did 'that' and your kid did 'that,' 'this' happened and I didn't think that was fair." Let's all talk it out, with that other child also. You'd be surprised what can happen if everybody's open about it. It's the seething. I mean, what makes the tea kettle make the noise? It's the pressure building up. [Makes a high-pitched whistling noise.] Don't let it get to that point. Let everybody air out on Mondays. Why Monday? I don't know, I just picked it - you can have any day you want.
I'm Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Until next time, here on YouTube.