Many stepparents want to know “how to stepparent,” but there is no one-size-fits-all-blended-families approach to give—though there are plenty of ideas.
However, there is one universal truth all humans share in common: we like to have fun.
Blended families have enough challenges going on, so why not take a break and spend a little time planning some fun activities?
There’s something to be said about the opportunity to laugh together while enjoying positive experiences. It’s the type of bonding opportunity that creates the fabric of good relationships.
And what better time to have fun than during the warm-weather months when there are a variety of activities from which to choose and longer daylight hours within which to enjoy them?
As a stepparent, making the effort and taking the lead in planning fun activities for all to enjoy is a proactive step. It beats being reactive to all of the little blended family crises that can come up over the course of a week. Your spouse will appreciate the effort, and the big payoff is… you get to have fun managing the selection process!
You can pre-select some activities and take a family vote, or plan a surprise for everyone, giving them fun clues such as what they should wear for the day.
Here are some guidelines for how to select fun activities:
1) Use Hobbies as a Guide
If you know your stepchild or stepchildren have a particular hobby or interest, you can use that as your launch point. For example, maybe she’s interested in dinosaurs. Scout out local museums that offer exhibits, or plan a day with a dinosaur theme that could include movies, a dinosaur-drawing contest and “prehistoric” treats that you create in the kitchen.
2) Mix it Up
If you normally go to movies for family entertainment, you could try visiting a local park and taking a hike, or renting kayaks for a water-based excursion. Or, vice versa, if you normally go outside for fun, find some indoor activities that would interest kids and adults alike, such as family-themed plays or concerts.
3) You Don’t Necessarily Need to Spend a Dime
If your budget has been putting a bit of a pinch on your fun, it doesn’t mean you need to entirely nix the idea of fun altogether. Kids have great imaginations: tap them to see what ideas they can come up with. Also, check local magazines that cater to families: they often provide a calendar of events that range from no cost to some cost involved. You may not even be aware of all of your local resources, so start investigating!
4) Keep it Light
No matter what you decide to do, make sure everyone knows the object of what you’re trying to accomplish: relaxing and having a good time. Put a moratorium on arguments and frowning for the duration of the activity. And if things don’t work out exactly the way you pictured them in your mind, have patience. The effort was made, and that’s worth a lot in terms of blended family relations.
Let us know how it goes for you and your blended family. We would love to hear your ideas.