Why Is Finding Common Ground Important?
1. Finding common ground is part of the bonding process. Most parents begin the bonding process with their child during infancy. As the stepparent, however, you must make up for lost time. Start building that trust and rapport by finding activities you both like and enjoy doing together.
2. Your stepchild needs to know you care about him. He knows you love his dad because you married him. Yet finding common ground and spending time with your stepson shows that he matters too, and that you care about him as an individual.
3. Children feel insecure and displaced. After the divorce they received 100% of their parent’s attention; now they get a fraction of that. They use to be the baby of the family; now they are the middle child. Everything they once knew to be true is now turned upside down. Finding common ground gives them a sense of security and stability that calms their fears and anxieties.
How Do You Find Common Ground With Your Stepchildren?
1. Schedule time for your kids. Runners always schedule their workouts, usually early in the morning before life gets in the way and other things prevent us from running.
If we schedule our workouts, business meetings, haircuts, and doctor appointments, why don’t we schedule time for our kids? Make the effort to schedule one-on-one time with both your bio and stepkids. Make them a priority.
2. Don’t be afraid to experiment. If your stepson only likes Minecraft and your stepdaughter only watches Pretty Little Liars, you might have to think outside the box.
For older kids, some golf courses offer night golfing, complete with glow sticks. You could also take a yoga, CrossFit, or karate class together. Maybe you could train for a family 5K. Find a way to serve together through your church or local mission. Try new things until you find common ground. “But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” (Josh 24:15, NIV)
3. Engage in both group and one-on-one activities. Many marathon runners run solo or with a partner during the week, then join a running group on the weekends for long runs. There are benefits to all three types of running. The same applies to family activities.
When finding common ground, it is important to try activities in both one-on-one settings and group settings. Daddy-daughter and mother-son date nights are good options. Guys’ nights at the ballpark and girls’ spa days are fun ideas. Don’t forget to bring the whole group together for simple family movie nights with pizza and popcorn on the living room floor.
Finding common ground takes forethought, cooperation, and effort. Yet if everyone is committed to blending, finding common ground can be one of the most fun aspects of the blending process. And before you know it you will have crossed the finish line of the blended family marathon!
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Tim 4:7, NIV