Drug testing

Blended Families Can Be Successful

Many families today are blending members from past relationships. It would be easy to give up when faced with all the conflicting methods of parenting and discipline that come to a family who has joined forces together.

As I was doing research for a recent book, I interviewed a young counselor at a youth camp. I was impressed with her sincerity, maturity, and gratitude that her "blended family" had made the effort and sacrifice to work together toward a common goal. She admitted that she was the instigator of most of the conflict and absolutely refused to cooperate on even the most menial request by her step-mother. She could tell that the adults were becoming increasingly unhappy and stressed and she was secretly glad that they were suffering.

Then an interesting thing happened. She was invited to spend a weekend with a friend and she saw what happens when families get along and support one another. The family held a family meeting to decide about some upcoming projects and chores. When putting activities on the calendar, she was amazed to see her friend volunteer to attend the ball game with her little brother so the parents could make another commitment. They laughed and joked with good natured ribbing as opposed to sarcastic mean spirited teasing. The family ended the family meeting with ice cream sundaes and she saw the kids pitch in without being asked and that they served the parents before getting their own bowl.

It was an eye-opener for this young lady to see that it is possible to work together in a win-win atmosphere. She honestly had not even realized it was possible to live in harmony as opposed to chaos and anger.

When she got home from that stay, she called a family meeting and everyone came fearing that she was going to say she was moving out if she didn't get her way. Instead, she told them about what she had witnessed and asked for a commitment for all of them to start over and become a cooperative, supportive and loving family where everyone was treated with respect.

She went on to tell me that it had not been easy to change old habits, especially with her. But, as a family they had set a goal and a commitment and had worked on their relationships and communication skills daily. As a young adult, she said that because of that commitment, she had gone into counseling to assist other young people who were filled with anger. She wanted to share the valuable lessons that she had learned.

Oh yes, she counts her step-mother as one of her best friends now.

In our living room is a beautiful potted plant. It contains a number of small individual stems and branches that, as separate entities, are fragile and unsteady. Each stem could probably make it if it were broken off and stuck in a glass of water, but it might not. However, grouped together, they gain strength and protection from one another. Their roots are intertwined and form a foundation that allows them to successfully withstand being knocked over and occasionally neglected.

Families are like that plant. We are all in this together, and we need to know there are others who will hold us up when we need it and support us as we grow stronger. The word for the strength of a unit is synergy. It means that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

It is that common goal of cooperation and support that builds success in our children and our families. Please don't give up. Try one more time to provide the loving and respectful environment that each member of the family deserves.

Good luck and God bless. You do the most important work in the world.

Judy H. Wright, Parent Educator ? 2005 www.ArtichokePress.com

This article has been written by Judy H. Wright, a parent educator and PBS consultant. You will find a full listing of books, tele-classes, and workshops listed at www.ArtichokePress.com. You have permission to use the article providing full credit is given to author. She may be contacted at 406-549-9813 or JudyWright@ArtichokePress.com

In The News:

At first, people thought it was part of an act: a deadly python coiled around the neck of its owner and snake charmer during a live show in Uttar Pradesh, India, this week.
Utah, Ohio, and Canada might soon be dotted with palm trees—because welcome to climate change.
Archaeologists in Alexandria, Va., have uncovered the remains of two ships that likely date back to the late 1700s or 1800s during construction work on the city’s waterfront.
A tiny, pointy-headed skeleton that fits in the palm of a hand isn't an alien, despite conspiracy theories that have circulated for years.
A group of citizen scientists helped to discover a new type of aurora they named "Steve," and now NASA wants your help photographing the unusual phenomenon.
California residents, brace yourselves: an atmospheric river could continue to bring rain to multiple parts of the state this week.
The Pacific Ocean is being treated like a giant dumpster -- and it's starting to look like one, too.
Archaeologists in South Africa have located the site of a centuries-old ‘lost city’ using sophisticated laser technology.
Incredible footage of an elephant picking up ash with its trunk and breathing smoke has been captured, stunning onlookers and experts.
If you're experiencing a spell of bad luck, many people may ask you the same question: is Mercury in retrograde?

Are You Meeting ALL Your Childs Basic Needs?

This may come as a surprise, but many parents are... Read More

Small Children, Languages and Myths

Our children are growing up bilingual in the French part... Read More

How to Help Your Children to Blossom

I am writing this from the beautiful mountains of Western... Read More

Children Cooperate When Appreciated

Do you want your child to cooperate with you more?Children... Read More

Loving Your Step-Children

Loving your step-child can be both simple and hard. It... Read More

Parenting Secrets Revealed

So your little Susie wants to join a competitive gymnastic... Read More

Send Your Child to College FREE!

College is one of the largest expenses through the course... Read More

Raising Happy Diabetic Kids Part III Help Your Child Develop Self-Control

This is the third and final article in a series... Read More

Time, Stress, and a Baby

The main thing we noticed since having a baby is... Read More

Childrens Books And Educational Toys - Can They Still Be Fun And Have Educational Value

It was no contest. Given a choice between a ball... Read More

Ten Tips for a Great First Day of School!

Many children are jittery on the first day of school.... Read More

Is Your Discipline Damaging the Spirit of the Child?

If your parenting methods include abuse of any kind; physical,... Read More

To Clean or Not To Clean

Before my daughter was born my house was... Read More

Refresher Course on Diapering for Dads

It's among the top criticism wives have of their husbands:... Read More

Back to School - Disappontment?

Our back-to-school buying habits do not help kids succeed in... Read More

Helpful Tips for the Adoptive Grandparent

Few things are more completely enjoyable than becoming a grandparent.... Read More

Nail Biting Basics

Nail biting in all its various forms is problematic... Read More

Teenagers in America Today

"Family Matters" was the headline that caught my attention in... Read More

Homework Help for the Attention Deficit Child

Does the homework battle so typical with your hyperactive or... Read More

The POWER of Your Words

Words are truly powerful things. They are something that becomes... Read More

Public Schools --- Why On Earth Do We Need Them?

From the time the Mayflower landed at Plymouth Rock in... Read More

So You Want to Adopt?

Many reasons will cause some people to feel the need... Read More

Playing Safe

Do you really want your child to enjoy playing with... Read More

Single Parents: Give Yourselves Credit

Single parents are not often thought of as good parents.I... Read More

Overscheduled Kids

Time devoted the better part of an issue to it.... Read More

street lighting manufacturer ann arbor led street lights Pete's produce ..