Friday, November 18, 2011

Blended Family Discipline

by Aleta Kay

          You’ve just gotten re-married. Or maybe you’ve been re-married for quite a while. You have his and hers children and one parent dare not discipline the other’s children. This is a recipe for family implosion. Every child needs two parents. (I know sometimes that’s impossible; for instance if you have been widowed.) If you marry someone it should be someone your children respect and like. If they don’t like the new “parent” or don’t respect him or her your home will be a constant battle ground.
          Here are a couple (or perhaps few) suggestions.
          1) The kids need to get to know the other parent long before the marriage takes place. They will need time to adjust. Accepting someone new in the absent parent’s place is difficult. Your children still love the absent parent.
          2) Let your children express their feelings (respectfully). Consider their feelings. Talk things out. If they have problems with the person you are going to marry, better to get those things out in the open before the marriage takes place.
          3) Treat your children as if their feelings and opinions matter. If you want them to respect you then they also need a level of respect from you. They will learn their attitudes from watching you. Contrary to media opinion, Children learn more from the people they live with than from their peers. They may be more influenced by their peers during their teen years, but you start shaping them from the time they are born.
          It is true that you cannot live your life to please your children. But if you want peace in your home, wait on the marriage until they have had time to adjust. And although living together first is the popular method of getting to know each other, think about this: how can you teach your 12 and 13 year-olds not to engage in sex if they see you doing it outside of marriage.  They do not see why it should be okay for you and not them. It is the hypocrite that says, “Don’t do as I do; do as I say.” Kids know this is wrong. Like it or not, they will model your behavior. If you want to prevent them from STD’s teach them abstinence until marriage. Model the behavior. If you have already set the wrong example, apologize to your kids and try to correct the situation.
          I know there are shots and pills and condoms to prevent disease but the Bible still holds true: “They that sow to the flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption.” Multiple sex partners pollutes the body. Today we are more concerned about the environment than we are about our own health and well-being.

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