I have a little secret to share with you.
The life of a blended family is complicated. Right, I know that’s a big shocker.
See, there are close to 12 years difference between my youngest step daughter and my oldest son. Trying to find family outings that all of us can enjoy is usually hard. If a place is perfect for the big kids, it’s not age appropriate for the little kids and if it’s perfect for the little kids the big kids are going to be bored. But there is a certain time of the summer that bridges the gap. You know the time I’m talking about; that time when mother’s everywhere breath a sigh of relief because the countdown has begun. The countdown to the end of fighting, the end of hearing that so dreaded phase, “I’m bored.” That’s right folks, I’m talking about Back To School time!
Back to School shopping is a time when ALL of my children have a commonality. I get to sit, or rather stand, at the back of the shopping cart and marvel as my kids bond over pencil boxes, folders, and glue sticks. In years past I’ve witnessed my then 4 and 16 year old crack up laughing over not recognizing a pencil sharpener when they see it. I’ve been blessed to see my older kids become little ones again as they help their younger siblings pick out the coolest pencils or the most awesome backpack.
Make Back to School shopping a time when your kids can enjoy one another. If the kids in your household are closer in age than give them their own school lists and partner them up. Give them a budget for the supplies and then set them loose. (It’s probably a good idea to research prices first so you can set a reasonable budget.) I think you will be amazed at how they can work together as a team and have fun in the process. And if you are like me and your kids are further apart, still partner them up. The younger kids will look to their older siblings for advice and the older kids will being idolized. Now I’m not saying you won’t have any bickering because they are still siblings; but if you look at the experience as a whole it will be enjoyable.
With all the other complications of living in a blended family, the visitation, differing parenting styles, and child support, just to name a few; the last thing you need to do is add to the list.
Whether the age gap is 10 years or 10 months, let them enjoy this bonding time with each other because really, that’s what being a family is all about.
The good folks at VolunteerSpot and ClassWish care about getting your school year and teacher off to a great start, that’s why they are offering one of my readers a $50 gift certificate for classroom supplies for your favorite teacher!
RULES FOR ENTRY:
In a comment please leave the name of the teacher or classroom you would give the $50 in supplies to.
Tweet the following (please leave a comment and link to each tweet, allowed once a day)
“Start the school year right! Win $50 for classroom of your choice from @ClassWish @VolunteerSpot and @MadHatterMom http://bit.ly/cGy1Ll”
GIVEAWAY ENDS SEPT. 6th
Originally posted as part of VolunteerSpot’s Views on Back to School Bloggers’ Series. VolunteerSpot’s free online sign up sheets save time, eliminate reply-all email, and make it easy for more parents to get involved at school. Register at VolunteerSpot before October 1st, 2010 using promotion code “TeachersSave” for a chance to win $100 in free classroom supplies for the teacher of your choice from ClassWish.