Show your child old pictures and ancestors to establish roots. We see roots, belonging, as important to our child, children and kids.
Our clans, families, family trees, ancestors, provide family continuity, family roots, and clans of ancestors.
Continuity of family is important to all children but it probably becomes more important to a child of a blended family. It is particularly important to
- Children who do not live near relatives of the biological family.
- Children of very small families.
- Children of a repeatedly broken home.
Children need to feel that they belong to a group–that they have “roots.”
An impression of belonging to two unique family groups helps your children develop a personal sense of history and a personal identity. This feeling includes knowing where they came from as well as understanding that their family has a special personality.
Expose your children to a family tree. Intersperse tales of Great-grandpa Jones and old-maid Aunt Mary.
Tell about Papa Joe as a school boy and Great-Grandma Bertha’s fur coat. Show them a picture of skinny Auntie as a fat, fat baby.
Define the family personality in terms of “We Jones always give presents” or “We Jones never write letters.”
Include some peculiarities with the positive traits to make it more fun and memorable.
Show old pictures when you can. You are a clan!
If you are the non-custody parent in a broken family, your children may know even less about your side of the family. Allow some time for family talk on a regular basis. It is important.
That sense of belonging, having a special identity, and passing that identity on, gives children an investment in group continuity. It also allows your family to act as their bridge to the outside world–the true function of any family.
Holidays are a particularly good time to “promote” the roots of your blended family.