Who Disciplines Which Kids? It is usually easier and more natural for the biological parent to discipline his or her own child/children. However, some couples do share responsibility for discipline. REMEMBER: each child is unique and will react to discipline in different ways, whether applied by the parent or step-parent.
Be kind and patient when applying discipline, but not indulgent. Set firm limits without anger or spite. Make sure to let the child know that he or she is valued, but misbehavior is not acceptable. Even in a nuclear family, children will test limits, so when a stepchild says, “You can’t tell me what do; you’re not my parent,” try to avoid an angry power struggle. State your position and stick to it, preferably with the support of your partner.
Dads give guidance to their sons and moms guidance their daughters. But particularly as girls mature, they need their dads’ perspective as they approach significant crossroads. Daughters need the benefit of their dads’ life experiences and wisdom as they consider important life decisions and think through possible consequences of their choices.
Your daughter also needs to know that you cherish her as a person and you admire her as a lovely young woman. She isn’t just another person; she is special and unique, and worthy of your attention. She is royalty. Your love maybe what it takes for her not to fade into the shadows of darks wondering around looking for hope. She needs you to be a dad not a stranger perpetrating to be someone he’s not.
Begin today by loving her with a simple phone call, taking her to lunch or better yet a hug.
David A. Harris-Gavin
Blended Families face Unique Challenges
The image of the traditional American family — the nuclear family of the Clevers and Huxtables — was once limited to mom, dad, and children living happily together under roof. Today the notion of a typical family has gradually expanded to included blended families of stepparents and stepchildren, like the Bradys and the Kardashians.
Blended families are one of the fastest growing segments of families in the United States, but unlike the nicely packaged problems seen on Television, these families struggle with issues that are anything but easy. Major issues that newly blended families face include integrating discipline styles and coping with strong emotions, while at the same time building new relationships from scratch.
“It’s hard to step out of that role – am I a friend or am I a parent? But as an adult, you’re the parent, you have to discipline because there are going to be times that they’re with you alone,” said New York psychologist Dr. Janet Taylor in an interview with “Good Morning America.”
“Come from a nurturing standpoint, where you teach them responsibility, but do it from a place of love.”
Yes, love is a key factor but the major role begins with the new couple and what they have agreed upon before they said I do. If you begin to look at why the child or children are acting out, you may have a better understand on how to solve the issues at hand. First they have suffered a great loss in loosing the other parent and secondly adjustment doesn’t come over night. Continue to esteem your mate but at the same time don’t stop showing affection for all your children.
David A. Harris-Gavin
Often people never can (or should) “get over” significant losses, such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, divorce or even loss of a home. The pain may always be with you in some capacity. Although much of the sharp pain of sorrow goes away in time, you may always have a sense of the loss. The grief process is not about getting over it, but about learning how to live with the reality of the loss. I believe that God has you in the palm of his hand. Just don’t give up.