Are you part of a blended family, or do you know one? Understanding blended family life can be difficult, but it’s important in order to help children navigate school and relationships.

Whether you’re a parent, grandparent, step-relative, or a teacher who interacts with these demographics, Joel Hawbacker has encouraging news for you! As a blended family dad and a teacher, he understands the nuanced and complex situations of blended family life. Joel shares data, stories, and practical tips with Melvin on The State of Education that will help you and your family navigate and thrive in everyday life!

“If you’re the leader in your home, in your blended family, if you want your child to be respectful even if they are being disrespected, if you want them to be responsible even in the face of adversity, if you want them to have integrity—even if that’s not what they’re being met with on the other side—then you need to model that for your children.” — Joel Hawbacker, blended family dad and teacher 

Here are a few of the topics covered in today’s episode:

  • Joel’s experience as a child in a blended family, and his life now after a divorce and remarriage
  • The definition of a blended family
  • The importance to everyone involved of understanding a child’s background and home environment because it impacts things like scheduling and emotional issues at school

Some key takeaways:

  • A child’s home life influences much about his character, so a parent in a blended family should model leadership, integrity, and kindness, not letting emotions get in the way.
  • Similarly, teachers have a responsibility to model this to their students and meet opposition by maintaining the structure and authority in the classroom.
  • How a blended family can navigate school together by discussing school choice, searching for common ground, and having a plan of action before school begins
  • Joel’s ideas on how schools can do better to meet the needs of students who come from blended families

Do you like what you’re hearing? Stay tuned for our next episode on The State of Education with Melvin Adams.

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RESOURCES MENTIONED ON TODAY’S EPISODE: