Thanksgiving survival tips for stepparents
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
2M ago
Recently I read a well-meaning blog sharing tips for stressed-out stepparents over the holidays. "Be flexible," the author advised. "If your stepkids are used to having pumpkin pie at Thanksgiving but you normally make apple pie, just make both!" Sure! Just make both! Just double your own workload to make everyone else happy! ? Totally no big deal. Reminds me of the time that Dan suggested my stepdaughter and I cook Thanksgiving dinner together… only what SD actually wanted to cook was two different types of curry. Traditional, super-involved, cook-all-day curry. And I was like "Ummm Dan ..read more
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6 things stepparents wish their partners knew
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
8M ago
As a single parent myself, I figured I knew what I was getting into when I started dating someone else with a kid. Man was I wrong ??‍♀️. Turns out that becoming a stepparent was a hell of a lot more complicated than just adding another kid to the mix. And becoming a blended family required a lot more proactive attention, communication, and patience than I ever would’ve guessed. I wish I’d known more about the specifics of stepfamily dynamics earlier, because I can now see all the ways I inadvertently made stepparenting harder than it needed to be — harder on myself, harder on my husband Dan ..read more
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Stepparents & disciplining stepkids
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
So many stepparents tell me horror stories that end with "... but shouldn't I get a say in this? Aren't I allowed to have an opinion?? It’s my house too!" Hell yes you're allowed! Absolutely. You have every right to call your stepkids out on their shitty behavior or throw down with your partner over their lack of parenting. If you're looking for permission, I hereby grant you that permission. That's not quite the problem though, right? The problem is that disciplining our stepkids ends up making us the #1 Most Hated person in the house, or launching WWIII with the high-conflict ex, or generall ..read more
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Can you disengage from only one stepkid?
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
A question I get a lot about disengaging is whether it's possible to disengage from only one of your stepkids. Or, similarly, whether you can disengage from your stepkid when you have other kids at home as well, like your own kid(s) or ours baby. Short answer: yeah, it's totally possible, especially since disengaging is more about shifting your own perspective than it is about changing your actions. Although changing your actions are certainly part of disengaging too. Long answer... well, I guess let's just move along with this blog post. When you don't like one stepkid If you have multiple st ..read more
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How to keep your cool during your partner's custody battle
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
Most of our first year of marriage was spent in a custody battle with Dan's high-conflict ex— and that wasn't the first or last time he spent months in court with her. I can't imagine a more relationship-testing way to start what was supposed to be a new life together. Instead, it felt like any potential future we had as a blended family was going to be determined by the outcome of his family court hearings. How did I, the stepparent on the sidelines of my husband's court battle, handle the pressure? Not well, I can tell you! Here's a whole giant list of stuff I wish I'd known back then. Does ..read more
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Why your relationship (NOT the kids) should come first in a stepfamily
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
After my kid's dad moved out and I became a single parent, I believed— as many single parents do— that my daughter was now my number one priority and nothing else could get in the way of that ever. She'd already been through enough. So it was my job as a responsible parent and a responsible adult to put her needs first as much as possible, no matter what. What I didn't realize back then was that that sweeping sentiment, well-intentioned as it was, left no room for a new partner to enter. Because in order for a stepfamily to function, your partnership has to come first, not your kids. And makin ..read more
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4 Ways stepparents can protect their own mental health in high conflict
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
A lot of the resources I create around high conflict co-parenting have to do with the primary partner in a blended family rather than the stepparent. Which makes sense, right? Our partners are technically the ones co-parenting with their high conflict ex, therefore they're the first line of defense in protecting us from that conflict. In theory. The thing is, though, a lot of our partners aren't great at that, for various reasons. Maybe they've got shitty boundaries with their ex, or they drank the Kool-Aid about how "good" co-parenting means just going along with what the other parent says, o ..read more
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How to prove parental alienation: 4 tools for documenting PAS
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
After identifying the signs of parental alienation, the next question we all ask ourselves is how (and whether) we can stop parental alienation syndrome from happening. Every resource you’ll ever read on PAS will tell you that documentation is critical. There are plenty of documentation tools out there, though— what's the best one to prove parental alienation? 1. Good ol' fashioned pen & paper custody journal A custody journal a simple notebook or planner where you can keep track of the kids' schedule and jot down quick notes related to co-parenting. If you've got paperwork, like receipts ..read more
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7 Myths about parental alienation that targeted parents & stepparents shouldn't believe
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
Talking about parental alienation really isn't my favorite thing because—well, to be totally honest, I don't think we handled being alienated all that well. (Understatement.???‍♀️) I think that's probably true for a lot of alienated parents and stepparents, though. The tactics that seem like they'd be the best way to fight alienation can actually work against us. Here's a closer look at some of the most common myths around parental alienation (and/or flat-out bad advice) that targeted parents and stepparents should NOT buy into. Parental Alienation Myth #1: Alienated kids/stepkids want nothing ..read more
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When should you walk away from your blended family?
Blended Family Frappe
by Blended Family Frappé
1y ago
What's the last straw that determines when you should walk away from the family you're trying to blend? When should you call it quits? What happens when you're all out of stepparenting tricks, you've done everything you can think of to blend your family, and still nothing's gotten better? What if you're caught between a high-conflict narc ex on one side and a stepkid who hates you on the other, and none of that's likely to change? Do you keep trying? What if there is not one cell left in your body that's capable of trying anymore? Not just "done" but "DONE."— in all caps, bold text ..read more
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