Recently Braylon has been trying to find a better understanding of the world around him. He’s almost 6 and very inquisitive about everything. He constantly wants to know the who, what, where, when, why, and how things are happening. He’s even started trying to figure out our family dynamic.
Over the last few months, he has talked to us about the “olden days” and asked questions about when he was younger and even when we were kids. He’s asked who he lived with when he was born and even told me different things he’s either been told or remembers. I’m always open and honest with him so that he knows he can come and talk to me. I’m glad that we have grown so close over the years and have formed such a great bond. Just the other day we discussed with him that he has two homes and that when he goes back and forth that he LIVES with whatever parent he’s with during that time. From his understanding, he was just “spending some time” or “visiting.” So, we had to break it down for him and explain how his family is a little different.
We want to make sure he feels safe, secure, and at home wherever he goes. Making sure that he is aware that having two homes is not a bad thing but it may be different from some of his friends and classmates. He’s already used to the concept of having two holidays every year and this will be his first year having two birthday parties. I’ve talked to him about it and he is excited which is good because at the end of the day if he’s not feeling comfortable then we aren’t giving our best to him. I don’t know any kid that wouldn’t want two birthday parties though, lol. Double the cake. Double the fun.
My husband and I both grew up in two-parent households so it’s been an interesting ride trying to help Braylon navigate not living in one set place. When he comes to our home we allow him some time to process on transition days because just when he’s getting comfortable in one home it’s time to switch.
Different homes. Different rules.
Currently, we are parallel parenting so we do whatever we feel is best in our household and his bio mom does whatever she feels is best in hers. Some things may be similar and I’m sure there are things that are very different and that’s fine.
Braylon adjusts to whatever expectations are in each home. Having to constantly switch is not anything close to how my husband and I were raised so we are still learning as well. We take the time to discuss how Bray may be processing as well as things we can say or do to help him understand but honestly the best thing is time.
The older he gets obviously the better he will understand the situation.
Luckily, some of his close friends live in similar family units so we often use them as a reference for him to be able to relate to. A lot of them have two homes but many of them don’t have step-parents. So he’s now starting to process my role a little better. He knows he has his dad, a stepmom, and his bio mom. I don’t expect him to fully grasp that concept for a while because like I mentioned he’s only 5. He knows for certain he is loved by a lot of people. Over the years I’ve seen him grow and acclimate to so many changes around him and he’s done an awesome job.
My goal is to continue to help him understand our family, and whatever else he wants to learn. As he gets older I’m sure more questions will come and things will be more clear for him about our family dynamic. I’m just happy to be a support system for him as he figures out his reality.
I often tell my husband if Bray is good then that’s what I care about. Everything else can be figured out after that.
Blended families should be embraced and it’s our job to figure out what works best in ours. Always make sure the children are the focus. It’s so easy to get off track when our pride and ego are at the forefront.