Do you know your blended family strengths? Blended families have unique challenges. But did you also know they have strengths?
First, the discouraging news. If you live in a blended family home, then the odds are stacked against you. According to The Bonded Family website, “70%+ of remarriages involving children end in dissolution within 5 1/2 years.” This means Blended families have a low chance of success.
The bright side is that your blended family also has strengths. My amazing wife, Jenny, has often remarked that the blended family challenges we faced early on in our marriage drew us closer together. The two of us learned to work together fast because we had to. Jenny is right, and our challenges became a blessing in disguise.
This post is especially for blended families who would like to defy the odds by focusing on their blended family strengths.
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Discover Your Blended Family strengths
Years ago, when I was a camp counselor, I heard the infamous story entitled, You Walk Good. This story has gone down in camp history. It’s about a camp counselor and an especially challenging camper. This camper was so difficult that the counselor requested that she be moved to a different cabin. The camp director’s solution was far different. “No,” he said. “I want you to find something good about this camper and compliment her.”
“But there is nothing good about this camper to complement,” the counselor replied.
“Does she walk?”
“uh.. yeah…” replied this now confused camp counselor.
“Then tell her she walks good,” the director stated.
According to this legend, the counselor took the advice to heart. She complimented the camper on walking good, and this compliment laid the foundation for a growing relationship. Not all of their challenges were instantly resolved. However, the counselor and camper did survive the week together, and they actually began to get along toward the end.
Blended families can learn from this by finding their blended family strengths and highlighting them often. So, what’s going good in your home?
Finding the Good in Blended Families
Finding the good in our blended families isn’t always easy, but it is powerful. Cognitive therapists suggest that blended families who hone in on the negatives will feel bad about their families. On the other hand, blended families who hone in on their blended family strengths will enjoy their families.
If you’re a step-parent, one of the best things you can do is focus on your step-kids’ good points. Diving into a parental role is never easy. But it is easier when a strong relationship is in place. One of the quickest ways to strengthen the step-parent, step-child bond is to focus on the good. Ask yourself:
- What is good about my step-son or step-daughter?
- What does he or she do well?
- What is a tiny compliment that I can give? (If you can’t think of anything, then try “You walk good.”)
- What are the blended family strengths in your home?
Blended Family Strengths Brainstorm
What does your family do especially well, and what virtues do you possess? If you’re not sure, gather a few ideas from our blended family strengths brainstorm:
- We love each other—warts and all.
- Our family laughs and has fun together.
- We have family traditions we enjoy.
- Our Blended family likes to spend time in one another’s presence. Simply being together is a strength.
- Helpfulness is what our blended family does. When one member is struggling, the others are there.
- Joy is present in our blended family home.
- A steady kindness is present in our home.
- Our blended family strength is that we love to serve. If you need help, we’ll band together and pull you through.
- We are known for our faith. Honoring Christ is key in our blended family home.
- Sports is what brings our family together. We are active, healthy, and love to be on the move together.
- We are generous. Our blended family home loves to give to others.
Do any of these blended family strengths apply to you? If so, then you are well on your way to finding the good in your home.
Getting Started with Strengths
The key is to start small and build momentum as you go. Over the past five years, I’ve watched discouraged families focus on the good and feel better about themselves and their families. Shakespeare’s famous quote, “There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so,” continues to ring true today.
I believe so strongly in helping blended families focus on the good that I wrote an entire chapter about it in my book Coffee Shop Inspirations. Be sure to check it out.
Finally, keep the conversation going by letting us know a few of your blended family strengths in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you and wish you your blended family an incredible week as you focus on the good!