More than ever, blended families are front and center in the media. Jada Pinkett-Smith, Eve, Kimora Lee Simmons, Mashonda and more all manage their big, blended families in the spotlight. The latter gave tips for making blended families work on her column on Global Grind, and her advice is chock full of wisdom. Check out an excerpt below:
“The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only.
Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.
Separating feelings from behavior:
It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the other parent—motivate your actions.
Get your feelings out somewhere else:
Never vent to your child. Friends, therapists, or even a loving pet can all make good listeners when you need to get negative feelings off your chest. Exercise can also be a healthy outlet for letting off steam.
If you feel angry or resentful, try to remember why you need to act with purpose and grace: your child’s best interests are at stake. If your anger feels overwhelming, looking at a photograph of your child may help you calm down.
Use your body:
Consciously putting your shoulders down, breathing evenly and deeply, and standing erect can keep you distracted from your anger, and can have a relaxing effect.
It takes a great deal of positivity, emotional maturity and selflessness to manage a blended family, and these tips seem to touch on all of those attributes.