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Blended Families - Attitude of Missed Opportunities

AWC >Blended Families > Attitude of Missed Opportunities

There is another virus running rampant in blended families. It's a negative attitude that can take hold if you aren't careful.  Your child may miss out on a sleepover, camp, or event because they have to visit the other parent. Your child may be sad about missing said event.  It's hard watching the disappointment in your child's eyes.  If you aren't careful you can fall right into their sadness and what I call the, "Attitude of Missed Opportunities".

My parents separated when I was 12.  I really can't remember a time when either of my parents ever had this attitude.  They both thought family was the most important thing.  As an adult when I look back I don't think of social events I missed. I truly miss one thing.  ONE THING ONLY!  Listen up BIO PARENTS cause I'm a child of divorce who can give you this perspective. I MISS MY PARENTS IN ONE ROOM NOT MAKING ME CHOOSE!

The "Attitude of Missed Opportunity" can cause that 'choosing' feeling in a child.  It devalues their parent time when it is implied that whatever event they are missing is more important than visitation with the other parent.  Your child will not remember those missed activities when they are older.  They will remember not spending time with their mother or father.

In a blended family you have to remember to cherish all the opportunities it provides.  Yes children of divorce split holidays.  Each parent has missed a milestone, but they get the opportunity to spend time with their mother and father.  They get to travel and see things other kids don't.  Those opportunities to spend time with family are greater than anything they've ever missed.

Avoid the "Attitude of Missed Opportunities" by highlighting the positives.  Remind them that not every child gets 4 parents that love them.  How many kids get to fly on planes, see the White House, go to Disney World every year.  I never view my stepchildren as having MISSED OPPORTUNITIES.  I think they are the luckiest kids on the planet because even though they live 1000's of miles away they still are with their father more than 2 months out of the year.  That is amazing.  When they are older, they won't remember the missed opportunities, they will remember how their parents did everything within their power to share as many moments with them as possible.

AWC Founder, Stepmom, Child of Divorce

How do you handle your child's disappointment when they miss something because they have to visit a parent?  Share your positive solutions below in the comments section.

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