Monday, April 28, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Friday, April 11, 2014
"The key to crockpot stepfamilies is time and low heat. I've already stressed the importance of being patient with the integration process and not trying to force love, care, or togetherness. Often, in an attempt to quickly combine various ingredients such as people, rituals, and backgrounds, stepfamilies use the food processor, microwave, pressure cooker, and blender integration styles. Such an effort almost always backfires, bringing a backlash of anger and resentment.
Stepfamilies need time to adjust to new living conditions, new parenting styles, rules, and responsibilities. They needtime to experience one another and develop trust, commitment, and a shared history. They need time to find a sense of belonging and an identity as a family unit. None of these things can be rushed. Adults who are trying to prove to their parents, friends, church, minister, or themselves that their remarriage decision was right for everyone, push their family to "blend" quickly. But they are often greatly disappointed and feel like failures. A slow-cooking mentality invites you to relax in the moment and enjoy the small steps your stepfamily is making toward integration, rather than pressuring family members to move ahead.
Cooking with low heat refers to your gradual, intentional efforts to bring the parts together. It is working smarter, not harder. Let's contrast some crockpot approaches to the examples of what not to do.
As a crockpot stepfather, you don't worry excessively about why you're not immediately bonding with your teenage stepdaughter. Slow-cooking stepparents understand the cardinal rule of relationship development with stepchildren: Let the stepchild set the pace for the relationship. If the child is receiving of you, then openly return the child's affections. If she remains distant or standoffish, find ways of managing rules and getting through life. But don't insist a child automatically accept your authority or physical affection."
I guess the reason I am writing all of this is because I know life is about to change and a new dynamic is about to make her presence known. My perfectionistic/codepedent side wants to make this transition easy and the best case scenerio for everyone but I know that it isn't always going to be easy and at times it is going to be a hard adjustment, but once again I am brought back to my recovery lessons that even as a family we are to take it "One day at a time, one moment at time."