Tag Archives: relationships

Giving the Gift of Time

parent-education-04As we think of all we have to do we can become stressed and cranky. This is probably the busiest time of year. Most of us are saying there is never enough time. Well interestingly everyone gets 24 hours a day to divide up as we see fit. Decisions are always being made about where we put our time and energy. May I suggest that you seriously think about the benefits of giving your time as a gift to those you love especially your child. A child correlates time with love. Think for a moment about who loved you as a child and you will probably think of somone who spent time with you. Most of us think we need a lot of time to spend with a child but they are happy with short increments as long as they are given regularly and at your offering not their demanding. A child will demand attention from us when they are feeling left out and neglected and they will not mind getting negative attention. Any attention is better than none.

The benefits of giving the gift of time include building a strong parent/child relationship, learning what our child’s hopes, dreams and interests are, taking away our guilt for being too busy with other things, learning how to have fun and reducing our own stress through laughter and joy. Most importantly it conveys to our child how glad we are to have them in our lives and how much we love them. Remember time costs no money and doesn’t have to be gift wrapped. The invitation will always be treasured and the gift will always be remembered.

A Different Kind of Family

Having lived in a blended family and led workshops for parents living with other people’s children I’ve realized how difficult creating a new kind of family can be. Most of us do not recognize that a blended family is a different kind of family, It is not better, not worse, just different. It will never operate like a nuclear family. According to Linda Albert and Elizabeth Einstein in their publication “Strengthening Your Stepfamily” the differences are:

  • Born of a loss – children lose control, contact and continuity; biological parent loses status and stability; stepparent loses the marriage dream and privacy.
  • Non-residential parent is always psychologically present.
  • Children move between two or more homes.
  • Previous parent/child relationship based on years of memories and alliances build strong biological connections.
  • Different family backgrounds can add to the confusion.
  • Lack of a legal relationship means the stepparent has no legal rights.

Trying to make a blended family into a nuclear family will only lead to crisis. A large percentage of these families fail.

The key to blending a family is to keep the couple relationship strong, understand the process, allow it time to evolve, respect all members and most of all communicate effectively. A healthy blended family is a wonderful gift to our children.