As social, personal, and spiritual celebrations wind down, it’s time to stop and reflect on the passing year. Evaluate the positive, successful, and fulfilling events, and plan to improve and grow with new enriching and heartwarming experiences for you and your stepfamily. Please make resolutions that are realistic and create a step-by-step plan, and carry them out. Write them down and keep the list in a place where you will be able to access it often, and modify it as needed.
- Structure your planned (bi-weekly) family meetings. Include sharing of feelings, thoughts, and fun in each meeting.
- Take 3 steps to improve family closeness. For example, found a family game night, new tradition, or schedule regular, periodic outings with just one child at a time, to help the child feel special and important.
- Establish realistic expectations e.g. getting to know your stepchild as a person. Love with your stepchild will hopefully grow, though the process will likely be gradual, not instant.
- Practice effective positive communication skills with your spouse, biological children, and step-children.
- Understand stepfamily dynamics through reading and talking to a therapist specializing in working with stepfamilies.
- Plan dates with your spouse. Time alone as a couple will help keep your relationship and your family together.