Posted June 29, 2013 by Carol Martin in Bridal

Three unique ways to help kids embrace a blended family

About 1,300 new stepfamilies kind every single day in the United States, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. And of the 60 million American young children younger than 13, half are at the moment living with 1 biological parent and that parent’s companion. As a result, couples are attempting to find techniques to consist of their stepchildren in the marriage ceremony and commemorate the union of all members of the new blended loved ones.

Andy Netzel of Geneva, Ohio, turned to Items Remembered, the nation&rsquos major retailer of customized gifts, to discover something special and meaningful to commemorate the specific day he married his wife, Margie, and became stepfather to Emily, four.

For the duration of the couple&rsquos ceremony, as an alternative of naming Andy and Margie husband and wife, Pastor Michael Meranda paused after the couple kissed and asked Emily to step forward. The couple hadn&rsquot ready the tiny girl for this moment. If she knew about it ahead of time, they knew she&rsquod be anxious throughout the entire ceremony.

Andy took the microphone and told his stepdaughter-to-be that it wasn&rsquot just he and Margie who have been joined, but rather all 3 of them. He opened a jewelry box with a Factors Remembered bracelet inside. It was engraved with &ldquoMom, Emily, Andy.&rdquo

&ldquoTo me, this wasn&rsquot just about Margie and I receiving married. This was a lifelong commitment to our new family members,&rdquo he says. &ldquoMargie had a ring. I wanted Emily to have one thing she could remember this day by, even when she was acquiring married herself.&rdquo It appears to have worked. Emily now refers to the wedding day as &ldquothe day we all got married.&rdquo

Personalized treasures

Far more couples are turning to personalized gifts to commemorate the occasion, says Amy Myers, vice president of Inventive Services at Items Remembered. The retailer has observed a steady increase in the number of couples coming in to commemorate the occasion.

&ldquoWe began noticing couples making use of commemorative gifts about 10 years ago,&rdquo Myers says. &ldquoOur shop managers have been the ones who pointed it out to us. We started such as engraving suggestions for stepfamilies about five years ago. We have a lot of people come in, not realizing exactly what to say.&rdquo Myers says the message seems to drive the present. When they uncover the right words, obtaining a gift is typically the easy element.

Community bricks

Many families have also bought engraved &ldquocommunity bricks&rdquo to honor the day they became an official household. Bricks can be bought by way of churches, schools, civic organizations or even to help a unique landmark that is special to the household. Online retailer, Cut In Stone, specializes in engraved bricks of all shapes, sizes and materials.

The symbolism of generating a cornerstone to celebrate the day a blended family came collectively has a powerful impact, as does the permanence of placing the brick in a prominent component of the community. A lot of households make a household occasion out of visiting the place of their brick on their anniversary. When purchasing a brick, households ought to inquire about getting a second one to preserve in addition to the 1 that becomes portion of the community landscape.

Handwritten letters

Some stepparents use the occasion to produce a time capsule of sorts with a handwritten letter. In addition to writing a letter to the kid about the formation of their family members, stepparents can create about what this new loved ones implies to them and their hopes for their future with each other. This further emphasizes the transformation from a couple to an official family.

The letters are typically stored in a particular box with a few photos and other mementos from the wedding day. Even if the kid is quite young on the wedding day, they&rsquoll see the work that went into making them a huge component of that day – and the couple&rsquos life.

Just as a very first-time wedding is cause for celebration, the coming with each other of two individuals and their young children to create a blended family is an extraordinarily specific event. By taking a moment to recognize and pay tribute to the young children in a blended family, couples help children recognize they are not losing a parent, but rather gaining an additional person or group of folks to love and assistance them throughout their future.

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Carol Martin