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More than ever, blended families are front and center in the media. Jada Pinkett-Smith, Eve, Kimora Lee Simmons, Mashonda and more all manage their big, blended families in the spotlight. The latter gave tips for making blended families work on her column on Global Grind, and her advice is chock full of wisdom. Check out an excerpt below:

The key to co-parenting is to focus on your children—and your children only.

Yes, this can be very difficult. It means that your own emotions—any anger, resentment, or hurt—must take a back seat to the needs of your children. Admittedly, setting aside such strong feelings may be the hardest part of learning to work cooperatively with your ex, but it’s also perhaps the most vital. Co-parenting is not about your feelings, or those of your ex-spouse, but rather about your child’s happiness, stability, and future well-being.

Separating feelings from behavior:

It’s okay to be hurt and angry, but your feelings don’t have to dictate your behavior. Instead, let what’s best for your kids—you working cooperatively with the other parent—motivate your actions.

Get your feelings out somewhere else:

Never vent to your child. Friends, therapists, or even a loving pet can all make good listeners when you need to get negative feelings off your chest. Exercise can also be a healthy outlet for letting off steam.

Stay kid-focused:

If you feel angry or resentful, try to remember why you need to act with purpose and grace: your child’s best interests are at stake. If your anger feels overwhelming, looking at a photograph of your child may help you calm down.

Use your body:

Consciously putting your shoulders down, breathing evenly and deeply, and standing erect can keep you distracted from your anger, and can have a relaxing effect.

It takes a great deal of positivity, emotional maturity and selflessness to manage a blended family, and these tips seem to touch on all of those attributes.

What do you think of Mashonda’s advice, Clutchettes? Do you have a “blended family”? How do you make it work?

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  • Ashley.

    Interesting.

    But Clutch, what’s up with like 3 comments per page on every article now?! Nobody wants to have to keep clicking next page to read comments.

  • TheRealDonDiva

    Blended families do not work. For those of us living in stephell (that’s what I call it) we know this all too well. Dealing with crazy baby mamas and ungrateful stepkids is just too much drama. Blended families are unnatural, therefore no matter what you do there will always be tension and the bond and love that exists in intact families just isn’t there and never will be

    • I disagree.
      Blended families can work (I am a product of a healthy and I know other people who are products of healthy blended families), if all of the “adults” in the families throw all of the bullsh*t out and focus on the things that matter, which is the children.
      In regards to the “crazy baby mamas and the ungrateful stepkids”: it is the effects of when the adults in the situation do not behave like adults. It is the after-effects of when parents become bitter and do not act out proper ways of communicating with each other. In regards to the ‘ungrateful kids’, more than likely, these kids’ parents did not take the time out to explain to the children about the separation. Instead, they were probably told ‘Daddy don’t live here no more’ and there wasn’t a conversation. Now, when it comes to the stepkids being disrespectful towards their parents’ S/O’s, it is up to their parents to curb that behavior, if the parent is informed about the children’s behavior. The same thing with the ‘baby’s mama’, it is up to the husband (or boyfriend) to talk to that woman and tell her the truth.
      But in regards to ‘crazy baby mamas’ it has been from my experience that these women are not ‘crazy’ without a valid reason. I know a few fellows who have admitted to me that they use their children’s mothers as a ‘rebound chick’ or they dole out a pickle-tickle as a way to keep her from going to family court. So, of course, that woman’s feelings are going to be scrambled.

    • justanotheropinion

      Key word here – Adults. If you are in a mind frame that is less than adult when it comes to responsibility & maturity when it comes to raising children, it’s going to be a hard road. When folks grow up, it does make the road traveled easier – mind you, it’s not fool proof. When one or both of the parents haven’t accepted adult responsibility for their actions, it’s gonna be tough but it can happen. If both parents are on board, it’s doable. If it’s only one of the 2 parents, it will be rough be doable. Neither parent – it’s almost a loss.

  • RenJennM

    It’s beautiful that a woman who, in my opinion, deserves to be a little angry, can find peace in her heart, mind, and life to allow herself to be the best mom she can be. Those tips should work wonderfully in any co-parenting situation. My cousins could use this. Honestly, my parents could use this too, even though my brother and I are young adults now.

  • JRM

    Its really nice to hear this coming from here mouth. I hope she really means it. Because for years this woman’s only claim to fame was bad-mouthing swiss beatz and alicia keys. I’m glad that she is finally finding peace. She just needs to realize that she’s not the first and wont certainly be the last woman to be cheated on and humiliated. #DUSTYOURSELFOFFWOMAN…….

  • Buttons

    @MiMiLuvs

    It will accomplish the truth. Whenever the truth is established, it is always an accomplishment and furthermore, Mashonda will be vindicated. No woman should benefit from a relationship with another woman’s husband. Point blank.