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Dear Family Line // On Blended Family, Older Kids

Posted by Andrew Peters on

Hi - I learned about the plan from a friend and just downloaded it.

After discussing with my husband, I think we are going to plan a getaway sooner rather than later. That said, I have a question as we go into this: We have a blended family his/mine/ours.

We basically have two generations of kids and the first generation on the brink of college (two seniors and a sophomore in HS). I am struggling with how they fit into the plan since the oldest two are a little more out than in for the next 4 years. Clearly they are a part of the financial plan and relational plan but other parts of the plan become very fuzzy. And, maybe they are supposed to be as we work through the transition? Ultimately, we want them to be only in that relational space with us and creating their own lives, right?

So I guess the overall question here is what does a transitional plan look like? Or, do we just make a plan best we can this year and make adjustments in 2019 when we have a better understanding around what life without them in the day to day really looks like?

Thanks, Em


Hey Em, 


I'm so excited for you both to get away and try out the Annual Plan. Your questions are VERY valid. We've been chatting with parents of adult children, and think some of their ideas may help you as you are thinking about 2018 and the stage your family is in. Personally, I believe it's time to lean in and do MORE intentional things with your older kids before they leave the house. 


Sometimes when we're dreaming up new ideas we ask the question "what sounds like fun" and it kind of takes the pressure off the moment. Here are some ideas we had for you that may "sound like fun" for your first generation as they enter the next phase of your parenting:


1. Spiritual: Not sure if this fits as a category you're interested in or not, but if it does, here are some ideas. 

• pray for your seniors and your sophomore this year (out loud, so they can hear you)

• share your own faith journey with them, and what it looked like as you transitioned into college including struggles

• go on a service trip together or volunteer together regularly

• if faith hasn't been a part of your life before, find a way to explore it together


2. Relational: I love the idea of marking the transition to adulthood with memorable experiences, and building in ways for your 1st and 2nd generation kids to be friends beyond your household together.

• host a special dinner or brunch for your seniors with role models who offer 1 minute speeches of advice

• mark the moment of transition with a special gift, dinner or experience that feels more "adult" than "kid" 

• let them take the younger kids camping or to an amusement park to build sibling bonds

• set aside time each month to take the seniors on a parent date, review things they've learned while in your household or things you want them to remember

• invite them to come back home, anytime, for any reason for a lifetime


3. Physical: We've seen parents with teenagers do AMAZING things together.

• workout together on a regular basis

• enter a fun run or race together

• learn something new together (skateboarding, surfing, slack line walking, lawn darts)

• big goals like marathons or triathalons


4. Intellectual: life-long learning together is a great family value.

• Read the books they are reading for class and discuss them

• Teach them about managing money, or another skill you think they'll need in college


5. Financial: maybe it's time to up the adulting in this area. 

• Discuss and put in writing any agreements for college payment/transportation/housing

• My mom told me how much money she made a year when I was 18, and then opened her checkbook and showed me where it all goes. That was crazy impactful. 


Of course, not ALL of these are possible for one family in one year. But hopefully it jump-started some dreaming for you.


Cheering you on!

The Family Line Team 

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