Every blended family works differently. Get used to me saying that, I have to drop that disclaimer every now and again lol Not to sound cliche but my blended babies are pretty much amazing. Very low key and chill just like their dad, however the children I share with my husband let’s just say they get it from their momma!
Now that I have my own biological children, I couldn’t imagine them being disciplined under someone else’s care apart from mine and their father HOWEVER if they step out of line…. Lay. Them. Out.
Discipline can be a tricky area for the blended family dynamic and for good reason. Now that I have my own biological children, I couldn’t imagine them being disciplined under someone else’s care apart from mine and their father HOWEVER if they step out of line…. Lay. Them. Out. I’m no advocate for child abuse just so we’re clear but the punishment most definitely fits the crime in my home. If you’re talking smart you’re getting popped in your mouth….sorry not sorry! I even go as far to tell my friends and their children once the kid is in my home, they’re mine!!! Lol
Ok so back to my blended boys. I can count on one hand the number of times I had to discipline the boys in a serious nature. I say serious nature because discipline includes punishment, being reprimanded, and having to redirect disobedient behavior.
One day while in the kitchen as I prepared a family meal my middle blended boy Daevon decided to try my gangsta (yep, I said what I said). He comes in with an attitude and after I ask him is he ok, he blows me off. I didn’t read much into it and then asked him to hand me a kitchen utensil which he nonchalantly declined. My head whipped around so quick I had little time to think. I mean literally in a split second I had a decision to make. Do I wait to address his behavior with my husband and his mom or should I just trust my own ability to handle this? Because I was ready…to handle this. I walked over to where he was standing but before I could come toe to toe with him, he began approaching me. Wrong move. All rationale went out the window. I backed him up against the kitchen counter using the force of my body and swiftly laid him out. Literally he was on the kitchen floor and I blatantly said, “Don’t ever try me like that, you WILL respect me.”
First, I was shocked this whole situation even went down. My little sweet baby who never talks back is suddenly a teenager and smelling himself. What in the world? I met this kid when he was one. What could he possibly be thinking? After he got up and backed down still holding a nasty glare in his eye, I assured him he better fix his face, and quit looking at my like that. A sudden fear set in. What if he called his mom, I don’t need this drama! And my husband, what would he think? We’ve never dealt with this kind of behavior before, would he approve of my use of force? Would his mother understand? What if the family became aware, would they think I’ve been mistreating him? Before I could over analyze the situation for the billionth time I blurted out, “And don’t worry, I’ll call your momma for you.”
I couldn’t allow our son to feel as though he had the upper hand, so I made good on that promise and called his mom. I had already made up in my mind she was going to have a problem with me disciplining her child. SHOCKER…she didn’t. While the conversation was brief, I appreciated her hearing me out and understanding where I was coming from. I know this doesn’t happen for all of us blended mommas but I was sure as heck happy it happened for me.
In a blended family you really don’t know, what you don’t know. So it never crossed our mind to establish these boundaries when my blended boys came to live with us full time. I went from a long-distance stepmom to a live in stepmom and the dynamic changed. For us, that meant we needed to establish some things. Boundaries. What would our new home life look like? What was my role? Fortunately, my husband was adamant that I be a presence in our blended family, something I too felt, but was too timid to verbalize. And I am anything but timid but trust me getting acquainted with your new role will have you feeling like a stranger to yourself. I had to constantly encourage myself to just be me and reassure myself that I am good enough.
A family meeting was called, and my husband addressed the way our middle boy approached me that afternoon. I felt so supported, he assured me that I didn’t have to question whether I was right or wrong and it didn’t matter how anyone felt about what had transpired because according to my husband no one should be ok with a child behaving that way with any adult. I felt validated. While I prefer my husband to be the disciplinarian (mostly because all of the kids in the home are his) I recognize that in embracing this blended family life the children are mine as well. I made the decision that based on my love for this man and his children that I could and should have a voice in MY home. However, I understand your level of comfort in this area is dependent on several factors. I knew I had nothing but good intent for my blended family and should discipline be required it was ok for me to take the reins.
Thankfully, discipline isn’t an issue that regularly arises in our home. I know that isn’t true for all blended families and aside from being a touchy topic it probably picks at old wounds. Stay strong mommas, take it one day at a time. Put boundaries in place. Talk to your spouse and the biological parent about the expectations and remember that ultimately this is a decision for you and your spouse to make.
How do you discipline your blended children? Or is this an area you shy away from? Be sure to leave a comment or ask questions below.