- Prepare – Whether you need to get extra groceries, make up extra beds, or just plain prepare yourself mentally.
- Clean up – Clean up your house so you’re not piling more messes on top of the current mess, and stressing about how things are never clean.
- Plan to have a few hours of down time, or ‘transition time’, if you can, before you hit the ground running with fun activities or events. I find my days with my stepson include sports and school drops offs, so I try to take the days that he is at his mom’s home a little slower, and allow the toddlers to run the day.
- Plan out the days that they will be with you and how to make them successful. Prepare for any possible complications that you may run into: like required sports equipment at the other parent’s house or items that you may need.
- If you feel like your SO focuses more on the children (rather than you!) when they are in the home, try to spend a little extra one-on-one time with him/her before the kid(s) return.
- Talk to your SO about any concerns you may have while the child is in the house. For Example: My stepson had some homework backed up, and Valentine’s Day cards to make. As silly as it may sound to some, I had a conversation with my husband about this before we ran into it so that I knew what he wanted done first. Of course me and my stepson butt heads over this because I had to be the bad guy and make him do homework. As much as I would love to always be the good guy, I am a parental figure in his life and need to enforce him to do what his parents would want done. This is not the case for everyone, just an example of things to possible talk with your spouse about.
- Make sure you know where you stand with setting boundaries with the children or your involvement. This is kind given in the example on number 6.
- Prepare to have your step-kid(s) enter the home stressed out, as they are transitioning from possibly two completely different houses with different ways of life and rules: allow them time to process it. It never gets “easier” as they grow up, with all of the additional extracurricular activities- but it does become more “habitual”. Despite the habits, they will still need transition and processing time to go between different households.
- Don’t think that everything they do is out of spite- sometimes while it’s become habit at one house, it may not be accepted at the other. I use to think my son would do things just to make us mad, but then I learned some of these things were acceptable at his mom’s. He just continued to do them out of habit. So, we would simply correct him and remind him it’s not how we do things here.
- Prepare to be unprepared!! Know that not everything will go as planned and that’s ok. The reason is not just because you have a blended family: all families are mess, some just hide it better than others! Do your best and enjoy this life!! Make it an adventure, one you can look back on and be happy you lived it. Don’t let others dictate your happiness!!
10 Tips How to do Transition Day with your Stepkid(s)
It has been almost 9 years and I may have found the best way to help with transitioning my stepson to and from our home. However, I am sure there will be changes as not only my stepson ages, but also his sisters.
The whole family processes the transition differently and these tips are just some of what I find helpful. Please comment below if you have any tricks or tips of your own to share!
Please comment below with your own tips!!
Jade San Nicolas
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