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EP. 18 Blended Families from the Child's Perspective with Shara Haus


To view the video on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uhgbOqRFn-Y


SHOW NOTES


Today we have a very special episode for you as Shara Haus guest stars on the podcast discussing blended families with her parents, Tim and Kimberly! We are in the middle of our series on the topic of blended families, and we thought it would be interesting to hear the perspective of a child in a blended family instead of only the parents’ perspective.

Tim starts by asking Shara how her experience was going back and forth between two households and how that affected her. Shara explains that going between two homes as a child felt incredibly unstable. She explained that each time she went back and forth, she felt as if she was being uprooted from one life and planted in another, only to have the same thing happen again when it was time to return. Shara also explained that even though she was still a child when her parents divorced, she could feel the tension and knew her parents were going through an incredibly difficult time. This pushed her and her siblings to take on roles that normally a child would not feel responsible for, such as the role of a father figure or the role of a mother. Knowing her parents were going through a hard time made her feel as if it was necessary to hide some of her true feelings and take on some of the motherly responsibilities such as emotional support in order to be there for her younger siblings. Shara works as a nanny in a blended household and explains that when the children return from the other parent's house, she allows them a time to "reset" where they can feel emotions such as confusion, anger, or sadness and understand that their feelings are natural and justified.


Next, Tim asks Shara what it was like whenever he and Kimberly got married and he was now living in the household as the father figure. Shara says that she felt a sense of ownership over her mother and at first she felt like Tim was taking Kimberly from her. She also explains though that Tim came into the family with patience and grace and did not immediately force respect or acceptance from the kids. Tim asks Shara next if she ever felt any resentment towards him or Kimberly for the difference in treatment between the children. Tim explains that the dynamic between him and each child is unique, and there were times where he may have bonded better with the boys because of mutual interests. Shara responds by saying that she felt like Tim actually specifically pursued her and made her feel seen. Before Tim, she was used to a father that connected much easier with the boys than the girls, and she could feel that. She felt like Tim was intentional in pursuing her and getting to know her, but since she was not used to that kind of love from a father she didn't understand at the time how to receive it.


Ephesians 4: 1-3 says “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.” Last week we discussed how humility can affect the blending of two families, but this week we want to focus on gentleness. The word gentle is used in association with the word meekness, which Kimberly describes as “controlled strength.” Shara explains that even though divorce can be ugly and tensions can be high, it is important for the parents to show gentleness, especially towards the ex-spouse or co-parent in front of the children. If a parent speaks ill of the ex-spouse in front of the children, it will create division and make the children feel unsafe to love their parent. By showing gentleness as we blend two families into one, the children will learn to love and respect the parents without being forced into obedience.


Join us next week as we discuss having an attitude of patience when blending a family! We love you guys!


QUOTES


“Meekness is not weakness. It is controlled strength.” -Kimberly


“Although tensions are high and divorce can be ugly, it is important to show gentleness towards your ex-spouse or co-parent in front of your children.” -Shara


“Children often feel like their parents are divorced because of something they did or didn't do. As parents of blended families, we have to be strategic when talking with our children and make sure they know the divorce had nothing to do with them and that they are loved and safe.” -Kimberly


“If you want to gracefully blend your family, it is important that you have an attitude of humility, gentleness, patience, and peace.” -Tim


REFERENCED SCRIPTURE


Ephesians 4: 1-3 “I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”



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