To view the video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/ohFOz-mEyiw
Tim and Kimberly begin by reminding the listeners of the anchor passage they have been using to aid their discussion about blended families. 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." This week Tim and Kimberly discuss the third attitude we should have when blending our families, which is an attitude of patience.
Kimberly starts by sharing the statistic that it takes an average of 2 to 5 years to blend a family. Even if you have high expectations for blending your family, it will likely take at least two years before you truly feel like a cohesive unit, so that is part of the reason why patience is going to be so important when blending your family. Tim also brings up the necessity of patience in discipline, because when you become a bonus parent to a child, you don’t immediately earn the right to start disciplining him or her. If you are considering marrying someone with a family and you intend on blending your families together, Tim suggests sitting down before you even get married and strategizing a plan for how you are going to discipline. Kimberly emphasizes that the children are potentially navigating four different parents with four different parenting styles, so as parents we have to have patience and not wrongfully discipline. Sometimes as parents, we discipline our children for our own personalized offenses, and that is a mistake and a major reason for some of the failure that happens when blending a family.
Kimberly explains that personalizing our children's behavior usually comes down to our own pride and ego regarding how we believe other people will perceive us as parents. When kids are simply acting like kids and being silly and childish, we can't personalize that and think it makes us look bad. We need to step back and not be so quick to discipline. You are throwing gasoline on the fire if you choose to discipline in moments of anger. On the flip side of discipline, Kimberly explains that if you speak words of edification to your children, the barrier is removed and their hearts open up to you. They learn to trust you and feel more comfortable around you when you speak life into them.
Tim expounds on the topic of edification by explaining the concept of third-person edification. For example, when he is speaking directly to Kimberly and telling her what he appreciates about her, that is edifying. But when he is speaking to someone else about Kimberly in a positive way, that is what Tim calls third-person edification. By using this tactic with your blended children, it builds trust and allows them to feel safe with you.
When you are in the season of blending your family, having an attitude of patience will benefit you and your family in countless ways and scenarios. Tim explains that when he and Kimberly first were married, Tim's two daughters were adults and moved out of the home already while Kimberly's five children were 13 years old and younger. Tim explains that sometimes there might be a holdout for one or more of the children, especially if they are older and watching from afar as their parent's heart is blending with new children. They may feel as if the new children are taking their parent's time and love away from them, but if this happens, we have to remember not to personalize their behavior. Their feelings are real, and instead of correcting them, have patience with them and remind them how much you love them. As the parents, we have to have patience with our children and allow them to express their feelings without taking it so personally.
Another aspect of a blended family that requires patience is when communicating with the other set of parents. While there is usually some tension between couples, it would greatly benefit both sides if both sets of parents could come around a table and discuss parenting topics like discipline, bedtimes, chores, etc. As difficult as this may be, it would help the children feel less confused when going from house to house and also would smooth some of the tension between the parents. If you are still in the thick of divorce and feeling the pain of the separation, sitting around a table together may not be an option for you. Kimberly explains that at the beginning of her journey as a single mom, she had to remind herself that the person who her ex-husband was in a relationship with was not the enemy. To help keep herself accountable, she would write thank you cards to that person to show appreciation when they would do something nice with the children.
Tim and Kimberly close by discussing the importance of patience when it comes to affection with your blended children. Kimberly says that If you are trying to garner love and affection with your blended children, lead with words of affirmation. Earn their affection quietly by starting with words of affirmation.
Join us next week as we discuss tolerance. We love you guys!
“You are throwing gasoline on the fire if you choose to discipline in moments of anger.” -Kimberly
“By speaking words of edification to your blended children, the barrier is removed and their hearts open up to you.” -Kimberly
"Edification is a powerful way to reach the heart of a person you love.” -Tim
“When we react instead of respond, it will only build a wall between us and our blended children.” -Kimberly
“If you are trying to garner love and affection with your blended children, lead with words of affirmation.” -Kimberly
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."