Is your blended family, not blending? Don’t worry; get them to bond instead of blend!! Think about it, how many people have a close relationship without bonding on some level. It becomes difficult, if not impossible to want to have a relationship with someone you have no common interest with. Your friends are people who make you laugh, think, push you to greater heights, and just make you feel accepted. Kids want to be accepted and loved. Validate and show interest in your new family and watch God move fear, attitudes, disrespect, and walls of resentment. Open yourself up and watch others become transparent with you. Try these bonding family activities:
1. Play a board game or video game together – Taboo or Wii are great games to show your fun side
2. If a sport is what captures the attention of the child, get involved, watch with them or train with them, you may just get in shape or find a new hobby
3. Cook together – It’s a great way to learn how to “Blend” different items to achieve a great outcome and kids love to eat meals they have prepared
4. Get the kids involved in saving money – ask who will clip coupons or watch for bargains, even allow a child (with your help of course) to set a budget and shop for weekly items so they feel a part of the family
5. Set up family talent night – invite their friends over and make it a fun event-
6. Choose a weekly movie night – Have each kid pick a week where they get to choose the movie the family watches – eat pizza and popcorn and enjoy
7. Have the kids do a photo shoot where you are the photographer – allow them to do a dress up scene, or dress like one of their favorite stars and watch their personalities come alive- allow them to photograph you also and make a scrap book with the different looks to share with others.
8. Ride bikes together or take walks around the neighborhood
9. Do a dream board or book together – find magazines with interesting pictures, items, or places and cut them out and place them on the board or book
10. Dance together – find music from your era and show them the dances from your time, then allow them to put on their music and show you the latest dances they now do.
Over time bonding will give way to blending and before you know it, everyone will enjoy being together. It takes time and intentional effort on the adult’s part. Children may not seem receptive at first, but keep trying. Consistency is the key, don’t start it and then stop it. Once the bonding process has taken place the blending process becomes automatic. Remember, your marriage and family are a blessing and gift from God, Psalm 127:3.
Tony & Tarenia Carthan have been married since 1995 and are natives of the Atlanta area. Their passion to see marriages thrive gave way to the creation of the ministry Marry Me 4 Life, where they help couples live in and on God’s purpose for their marriage. With a blend of 5 kids that lends way to great harmony, this couple keeps family at the center and God as the foundation to their joy in doing all that they are privileged by grace to accomplish.