Aviva Drescher and husband Reid Drescher are a bit like the Brady Bunch. The couple, who have been married for nine years, were already parents to their own children when they wed in 2006 and later expanded on their clan.
Now the former Real Housewives of New York star is opening up on what it's been like to become one big, happy family (which includes four kids—two kids from each of their previous marriages and two children together). "They're so loving and kind to each other," she tells The Huffington Post. "They adapted to change so beautifully."
"I am the most proud of my family when they are loving and kind to each other and to others," she adds. "And I love that they don't use 'step' or 'half' when using the words 'sister' or 'brother.' They are just all sisters and brothers!"
Of course, it's not always easy—and that has a lot to do with their schedules. "It is really painful when the kids have to come and go because of custody schedules," she explains. "You miss each other! The house feels emptier when one of us is away."
But among the many great things about being a blended family, she notes that those schedules can also be a perk. "It's fun and always moving!" she says. "Lots of different characters and life experiences get brought into our home. The children who go back and forth to the other parents' home always have great experiences to share with the children who live full-time with us!"
Having spent nearly a decade married to Reid, Aviva has some advice for others who might be in a similar situation. "Never speak badly about the other parent or their home, ever," she says. "Watch your body language and facial expressions when discussing the other home. Children know everything and they pick up on small details. Speak highly of your ex-spouse and his or her new S.O. and family. It is very important that you allow your child to love all sides of their family."
"Then of course, treat all the children equally," she continues. "As a stepparent, I think it's best to take the approach of a loving friend rather than a parent. Let the biological parent do all the disciplining. Keeping children happy, in my opinion, comes down to just three words: Just love them."
[Source: Huffington Post]