I can’t believe that it has been almost 16 years, since I met my oldest daughter Laikin. Legally she would be called my step-daughter, but I have never for a second thought of her in that way. I tell people it was love at first sight. I was sitting in our little dirty radio studio in Wichita Falls, Texas and I heard the door open and in came this cute little blonde headed girl. She was absolutely adorable with her little white shoes and socks, and a big red bow in her hair.
And from the day that Amy and I got married I knew that she was my baby girl. When Amy and I had Libby and David there was not a feeling of “these are my real kids.” No, they were my other two children. I know that many blended families have difficulties, because a step-parent can’t get to that place where they truly love or accept their spouse’s child. I don’t say that to be judgmental, because there are some kids that can make it very tough to love them! This can be especially true if you marry someone with teenagers. When I do premarital counseling with people before I officiate their wedding I always ask if one or the other has children. If the answer is yes then I have one big question for them. How do you feel about them? And yes I know that many are going to lie like an old rug so I follow-up with many more questions. And often times I will ask them to come back and bring the children with them.
In my opinion, if the children are young then don’t marry mom or dad until you can say that you truly love the children. If you can’t get to a place where you love them as your own then at least love them as if you do. If you are thinking, “I don’t want to use my money to take care of them” then don’t get married. When you marry someone with children it is a package deal, and trust me my little love birds…if you don’t like the children then you are going to be miserable, and you will make everyone else miserable as well. I hear someone out there saying, “But Tony the kids will only be with us every other weekend.” So, if I came to your house every other weekend and made you miserable then you would be okay with that? Hell to the no! Love may build a bridge, but a horrible relationship between Step-Monster & Step-Dracula will burn it to the ground!
I’m not trying to be negative or discourage you from getting hitched to someone with children. I simply want you to build a very strong and healthy foundation with them before walking down the aisle. My relationship with Laikin has been incredible, and I am so thankful for her. It has been extremely rewarding, and I want the same for others. And last but not least, remember how much power you have in a child’s life. You may not think they don’t care what you think about them, but trust me…they do. Choose to make a positive impact by showing them they are worth loving. You can do this!
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