Blended Family Rules -- a Best Yes for "step-families"

I am enthralled in my latest read -  "The Best Yes"

I want to give more "yes"-es! I want to do more.

I'm exhausted when I'm asked to do more.
I doubt my "yes"-es.

This book is really pushing me to narrow down to my Best Yes! I'm finding more and more that in this busy season of life my Best Yes is often the kind of yes that would go unnoticed by many but is priceless to my role as a parent showing Jesus' love.

This path of reflection made me think about an area where we have said some Best Yes-es here at R7 and the joy that has brought where so many "step" families encounter pain and conflict.

I thought I would share a few things we have found to be Best Yes-es.

  • Take time to write a mission statement as a "step" parent. Consider the precious gift of someone else's child that is entrusted to you. How can you best honor that role? My children have mothers who have loved them and raised them with dedication -- my role is to be a mentor, a friend, and to help their father be the best dad he can be! This makes it easier in those moments when I disagree. I can step back and live out my role. 
  • Define the absolutes. These should be few. Choose the hill you're willing to die on so to speak.
  • Have a motto. Ours has become "Teamwork makes the Dream Work." Going anywhere or doing anything with SEVEN people takes work. In the tense moments anyone can pipe up with "Teamwork..." as the others respond "Makes the Dream Work" we are reminded why we are committed to the hard stuff. The hard stuff makes the good stuff possible.
  • Pray together for your children. Power of a Praying Parent was the first book that we read together as a couple. It was defining. Your love for each child grows as you pray for them.
  • Be creative. Instill responsibility in a fun way. We use the "magic box." Instead of nagging for five kids to keep the house clean, when I find something out of place such as socks in the dining room or an iPad (besides mine) in the goes in the magic box. The next time they are looking for something -- they know to check the magic box. The catch -- a chore of my choice must be done before desired object is returned. Additionally, if that child has any other items in the box they must complete a chore for each item. Sort of an all or none protection clause for me :)
  • Hold family meetings. Really do it. When you feel like going on a nagging, yelling tirade or reminding your spouse about whose kids these are....hold a family meeting. State the problem. Solve the problem as a family.
  • Use the family vote. We have seven so we always have a winner.
  • Make new memories and traditions. Search for what works for your family. Don't try to be something your not. This might be having pancakes by candlelight or swimming in a dirty pond

So many of these seem insignificant or "cheesy," 
but you have to be totally present and carve out time to do any of these things.
These our Best Yes Moments.

I L-O-ve that!!

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