Friday, January 27, 2012

Are your children struggling to cope with your new partner?

There's a lot of advice out there about how to cope with a partner's children - helpful tips about strategies to use, how to work as a team when parenting in a blended family, as well as some great insights about what the complexities are for everyone in this new family formation.

Because children don't tend to read blogs or self-help books, most of this great information is pitched at adults - i.e. parents and step-parents.

Unfortunately, as a friend of mine (who has experienced living in a blended family) recently pointed out, this can mean that inadvertantly we may reinforce the idea that the children are the problem, and that strategies must be enforced by parents to 'fix' that child, without comprehending what's going on from the child's perspective.

Click here to read more

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Seminar for Stepparents Bathurst 1st February 2012


01 Feb 12

91 Seymour St Bathurst
New South Wales

The seminar cost $10 per person (or a contribution you can afford),

6333 8888


The Bathurst Family Relationship Centre will be a running a seminar for Step-parents, Wednesday 1st February, 5.30pm-8.30pm. It will address the stages of becoming a stepfamily and the difficulties that may occur. It aims to give participants a chance to share their experiences and to help them move forward. Bookings are essential.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Married With Stepchildren

Short story: When Elise married the man of her dreams, she thought her life would be perfect.

She hadn’t reckoned with her husband's three spoiled daughters and an ex-wife who continued to drain him dry--emotionally and financially

Click here for more information

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Co-Parenting Communication Challenges

Interview with Sarah Bradley & Jill Darcey on how to handle communication challenges when co-parenting. Jill's book 'Parenting with the Ex Factor' is over 400 pages on how to co-parent with your Ex.


Parenting with the Ex Factor: How to Raise Children in a Complex Family

Parenting with the Ex Factor is positive, practical, and real - it's a book for those who are, or have been, involved in separation or divorce. Over 400 pages that explain how to practically parent beyond separation, including the answers to over 60 of the most Frequently Asked Questions gathered through Jill's years of counselling and coaching.

"I can assure you, divorce is not a life sentence to parental failure. Be encouraged - it can be the beginning of a foundation firmly based on living a more authentic and meaningful life with your children. Your children can also have the best of both worlds, as my children frequently describe their lives." "Throughout these pages, you will read part of my own story and learn about those things that have worked well and those that have not.

You will read about others who have walked their path and the effects of their choices. All of this combines to form a uniquely positive perspective on parenting beyond separation; the focus is on raising children who are free from the separation scars that have become painfully normal."

Parenting with the Ex Factor: How to Raise Children in a Complex Family

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Help for stepfamilies, and the therapists who counsel them, is available in this book that normalizes the adjustment process and provides hope and guidance.

Published in 1996 as Stepfamilies, The Step By Step Model of Brief Therapy this book has been reissued with a new forward and new title: Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership. Originally intended for mental health professionals, Emily and John Visher, the founding “parents” of the Stepfamily Association of America, referred to it as the definitive work on stepfamily interventions. Recently the book went out of print and its authors considered it too important a work to let it disappear. It has been reissued as a book that could be used by stepcouples or helping professionals needing information about the stepfamily adjustment process. The book contains tools that can be used during a therapeutic intervention or by motivated couples.

The model utilized is called a “normalizing” model in which stepfamilies are considered to be normal families undergoing multiple simultaneous adjustments. There is an economy of intervention using this model and it avoids the extensive data gathering often associated with the medical model where pathology is assumed.

The supporting data for this brief, couples based, episodic therapy model was gathered by the authors from almost 500 couples at Step By Step, their specialized psychotherapy practice. The power of the model is seen in the fact that these families often arrived in terrible distress, yet the average number of sessions was only eight.

For more information…Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Tips for a healthy blended family

  • All brothers and sisters “fall out”, so don’t assume all family arguments are the result of living in a blended family.
  • Beware of favoritism. Be fair. Don’t overcompensate by favoring your stepchildren. This is a common mistake, made with best intentions, in an attempt to avoid indulging your biological children.
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Be sure to discuss everything. Never keep emotions bottled up or hold grudges.
  • Make special arrangements. If some of the kids “just visit,” make sure they have a locked cupboard for their personal things. Bringing toothbrushes and other “standard fare” each time they come to your home makes them feel like a visitor, not a member of the blended family.
  • Find support. Locate a step-parenting support organization in your community. You can learn how other blended families address some of the challenges of blended families.
  • Spend time every day with your child. Try to spend at least one “quiet time” period with your child (or children) daily. Even in the best of blended families, children still need to enjoy some “alone time” with each parent.

    Source: I do! Take Two

    Read more...Guide to Step-parenting and Blended Families


Defective Wife Syndrome

Over the years, I have worked with many remarried couples. With the high divorce rate and the rise of the men's movement, therapists working with this population often see couples in which the husband/father has either sole or shared physical custody of his children from a previous marriage. Frequently, one encounters a phenomenon which I call the "defective wife syndrome" (referring to the ex-wife).

In these cases, the ex-wife is viewed as defective in some allegedly unquestionable way. The nature of the "defect" may range from not fitting cultural stereotypes for a woman or mother to engaging in criminal activities. She may be a drug or alcohol abuser, she may be viewed as having "loose morals" on account of real or imagined infidelity, or she may have a history of psychiatric hospitalization.

From a systemic perspective, the specific content as well as the objective accuracy of the account is irrelevant. The important feature is the role which this view of the ex-wife comes to play. In order to address this, a few words are necessary concerning the mourning process as it occurs in divorce and remarriage.

Read the full article…Click here

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

A Teen Guide to Life in a Blended Family

Gr 5-8-Two titles that use questions and answers to contribute to the easy-to-read format, with highlighted real-life examples that make them appealing to young teens and reluctant readers. Isler explains in general terms what happens to children when their parents divorce.

She covers some of the more complicated situations that can arise, such as whether or not grandparents get visitation rights and whether or not a stepparent can obtain custodial rights. Foster care and emancipation situations are also addressed.

Leibowitz points out that while all blended families can't be like The Brady Bunch, they can be positive and healthy. She suggests ways to help adolescents deal with stepparents, stepsiblings, and even their own parents.

Questions ranging from "What should I call my new stepmom?" to "How do I fit in this new family?" are addressed. The text attempts to destroy misconceptions of the wicked stepmother while helping young people deal with conflicting emotions, such as feelings of disloyalty, jealousy, and anger.

In both books, a variety of full-color photographs complement the texts, and illustrations from Cinderella and The Brady Bunch (in Finding) add interest as well.-Pamela S. Bacon, Southmont High School, Crawfordsville, IN

For more information - Finding Your Place: A Teen Guide to Life in a Blended Family (Divorce Resource Series)

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Making step-families work: a course for couples


This course is specifically for couples who are either step-parents, or or considering forming a step-family. Explore the complexities of step-family dynamics and learn strategies to cope with the various expectations, roles and relationships.

Strengthen your couple relationship, gain a sense of belonging and learn creative options and solutions based on a step-family model.

28th February to 3rd April

Cost: $60 per couple

Relationships Australia South Australia

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Telling Your Stepchildren About Your First Pregnancy

Congratulations you're expecting your first baby! You have all of the emotions from excitement to anxiety to confusion of a first time expectant mom. You have one other thing that many first time expectant moms don't have: a stepchild.

You are a member of the growing group of expectant moms who are a part of a blended or stepfamily. You are faced with the unique challenge of having your first child with a dad who has a child or children from a previous relationship.

Your [[stepchildren]] may experience jealous or insecurity that daddy is having another baby. They may feel that the new baby will take their place in daddy's eyes or take their place in your heart.

Dad should assure the children that his heart is big enough to love all of his children and that no one will take their place in his eyes.

What should you say as first time expectant mom to your stepchildren? Here are 4 suggestions:

Click here to read more

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Badmouthing the Other Parent Why it is so bad for your kids

When Rita SommersFlanagan, Ph.D. and her daughter Chelsea Elander* recently asked hundreds of children of divorce what advice they would give to divorcing parents, the most frequent and emotional response they received was simply this, "Don't badmouth the other parent!!!"

Of all the stress children of divorced families endure, parents putting each other down was seen by them as the most difficult to tolerate. Why should that be? These kids must know that their parents have great issues with each other and that they don't like each other. What should it matter if that fact is expressed in front of them? Shouldn't they just get used to it?

Click here to download the PDF

Stepfamily Realities

Stepfamily Realities


Spring Hill

Course Category:

Stepfamily Realities

This course is usually facilitated by two educators, with a maximum of 12 participants. The course includes these themes:


Individuals or couples who are parenting in a stepfamily or considering forming a stepfamily.

Course Details

Course Date:

07 February 2012 - 13 March 2012

Extra Information:

Past participants have said:
"The course was very effective and really saved our family. I learnt lots of practical skills for living in a stepfamily - wish we'd come along earlier. The facilitators were fantastic, open, honest, and insightful."

"Building Better Relationships" is another course we offer, for couples wishing to enhance their relationship.

Contact Details

Contact Name:

Sue Wilson

Contact Number:

1300 364 277


Monday, January 2, 2012

Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust

From the bestselling authors of Parenting the Strong-Willed Child, expert strategies and action steps for divorcing parents

While there are many trade books on children and divorce, most tend to be filled with extensive discussions of the psychological impact on children, with little effective advice. You want immediate answers and quick access to expert strategies you can use to help your kids today and in the future. Making Divorce Easier on Your Child arms you with 50 effective strategies and action steps for helping your kids cope with divorce, packaged in a convenient, quick-bite format. It is based on the authors’ years of clinical experience dealing with the children of divorce, as well as their extensive research into the causes and cures of divorce-related emotional problems.

“Informative and sensible, offering realistic, clear-cut recommendations.”

Robert Brooks, Ph.D., Faculty, Harvard Medical School, and coauthor of Raising Resilient Children

Click here for more information

Have you read this book? Please leave a review on our forums. Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust.

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The Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can ThriveThe Truth About Children and Divorce: Dealing with the Emotions So You and Your Children Can Thrive

What Every Woman Should Know about Divorce and CustodyWhat Every Woman Should Know about Divorce and Custody

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Making Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children AdjustMaking Divorce Easier on Your Child: 50 Effective Ways to Help Children Adjust

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