School's out and summer's here! For those of us who are step-parents with children from multiple households, perhaps our relief at a slower schedule is overshadowed by the impending stress of a summer filled with children being shuffled between households.
I encourage you to be intentional this summer as your clan moves from place to place. Make the most of the times you have with different configurations of your family.
Remember that the transition time between households is stressful for your children, no matter how smooth and amicable the adult relationships are. Slow down and provide time for children to adjust between homes. Stay calm. Provide some down time. Try not to schedule activities until children have had time to adjust.
Then, when they are ready, celebrate their re-entry into your home! Cook their favorite meal and invite them to help out in the kitchen. Plan a family movie night complete with popcorn and their favorite candy. Spread out in your family room or media room and have an indoor family camp out, complete with s'mores and hot dogs. Anything that will provide time and space for your family to reconnect.
In case you need some ideas and encouragement, I'm providing a link to FamilyLife Blended, the folks who brought us the Blended & Blessed conference. You will find videos, blogs and resources all designed to help blending families.