Saturday, December 27, 2014

What Stepmums Need To Know

What follows are some vital tips for stepmums. I wrote these during the years when I ran support groups for stepmothers and found that they really appreciated some black on white reminders they could put on their fridge doors. I hope they'll also serve you!

Source: What Stepmums Need To Know

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What Stepmums Need To Know

Posted in: Stepmother

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Step Parenting - The Age Group of Your Step Children Matters

Step Parenting: The Age Group of Your Step Children Matters

As a step parent, you have your role cut out for you. You know already that you may have to earn the love and trust of your step children before being accepted as part of the family. This no doubt could be a bit daunting because sometimes, you never know whether you are doing the right thing or not by them.

Source: Step Parenting: The Age Group of Your Step Children Matters

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

The Secret to Blended Families Marriage and Parenting Success

The Secret to Blended Families Marriage and Parenting Success

The Secret to Blended Families Marriage and Parenting Success
By Daren Carstens

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Are you part of a blended family

Have you been struggling to make everyone in your home feel special and equal? From step-brothers and step-sisters to live-in grandparents and adopted children, blending a family is a complicated and long process. 

With the help of Daren Carstens and his wife Laura, you will walk through a step by step process and be led into a peaceful, productive family life, marriage, and personal life. 

Are you divorced? Have you adopted a child? Or has grandma moved in to the spare bedroom? 

All of these things are examples of the components that make a blended family so difficult to transition into a cohesive unit.

This book will help you manage your marriage, whether it is a new marriage after divorce or death, in which you are blending two previous families into one. 

You will get tips of the trade from an experienced family, along with the inspiration that it takes to help you create a foundation that will withstand any storm. 

By reading this book you gain the tools that you need to deal with strife, rebellion, and disagreements and those tools will help you to build a strong family that lives a fun, peaceful life. Packed full of quotes and stories, this book will also help you ease your stress over your new situation, bickering within your family, and the personal trauma that every person in the family unit goes through after a big change. 

You will learn to regain your love for each other and your passions in life and explore those passions as a family, set to tackle the world together. 

Throughout this book we will explore how to handle the tensions between new siblings by teaching brothers and sisters to become lifelong friends. 

When you look inside you will see that Daren explores different theories on how to stop jealousy between siblings, how to assure that everyone in the household feels special, and creative ways to celebrate each other on a daily basis. 

You will learn how to deal with marital disagreements and how the way that you deal with those disagreements will affect the rest of your family. 

You will gain insight into why our behavior is so important to the rest of the family and how to decide whether or not you need more help within your blended family. 

If a friend of yours is dealing with this situation, then this book is the perfect gift. If you are in a blended family or you have a family member who is in this situation, the advice and leadership that Daren Carstens, along with his wife Laura, will give you, will prove to be an invaluable gift. 

Share this book with your spouse and work together as the heads of your family to bring the members closer. 

You will learn to give each other the support that both of you need as husband and wife and through that, your children will learn to support each other. 

After you have used all of these wonderful tools, please be sure to review this book so that others can gain insight into how they may be inspired by it.


Monday, November 17, 2014

The Smart Stepfamily DVD

The Smart Stepfamily DVD: An 8-Session Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily Multimedia DVD – May 20, 2014

Practical Solutions to the Issues Stepfamilies Face

In the eight-session DVD--ideal for small groups, seminars, or individual couples--the author offers usable solutions for everyday living, practical tips for raising stepkids, and ways to strengthen the couple's marriage.

The Smart Stepfamily DVD - An 8-Session Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily

Learn more...

You maybe interested in

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

She's frank about the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, she considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, and she counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems that often develop.

Click here for more information

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Unwrapping The Gift of Stepfamily Peace

Unwrapping The Gift of Stepfamily Peace

Are you looking for ways to have a peaceful holiday season with your stepfamily? Unwrapping the Gift of Stepfamily Peace: A Stepparent's Guide To Success is a must read to help you create and experience peace in your heart and in your home this holiday season. This easy to read, Christian based book offers encouragement, practical tips, inspiration and personal stories for stepparents to help them embrace and enjoy the holiday season!

This ultimate guide for stepparents at the holidays is organized by topic and chunked full of practical tips and takeaways. You don't have time to read a long book this time of year but you do have a few minutes each day to gain valuable tools while feeling inspired, encouraged and supported. The information in this book will give you tangible ways to manage the holidays so the holiday stresses don't manage you.

Gayla and Heather share personal stories of struggles at the holidays and the lessons learned from them. These authors have a passion for sharing their knowledge and life experiences to empower and encourage you. You are not alone on this stepparenting journey.

Bonus material include: A prayer, family recipes and ideas to start your own family traditions at the holidays.
Unwrapping The Gift of Stepfamily Peace - A Stepparents Guide to Success  with your stepfamily?

Monday, November 3, 2014

Blended families more likely to struggle with money

Forget the Brady Bunch. The idyllic picture of a blended family with a big house and a maid couldn't be less accurate when it comes to today's "blended" families.

Blended families have far less savings and are significantly more likely to live paycheck-to-paycheck than traditional families, according to a recent survey sponsored by Allianz Life. The financial services company defines a blended family as one in which parents who are married or living together live with stepchildren or children from a previous relationship.

One-third of blended families' report they're not saving at all. And they're twice as likely to report that their spouse brought financial baggage into the relationship that's tough to overcome.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership

Stepfamilies: Professionals and Stepcouples in Partnership
By Roger B. Burt, Mala S. Burt

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Product Description

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.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stepparents in the United States

Stepparents in America have experienced at best a grudging acceptance, and at worst a negative and suspicious reception throughout American history.

Overall, their role has been poorly defined by law, public policy, and social custom. Still, stepparents have always had an important role to play in raising children.

In early colonial times because of high mortality rates and more recently because of divorce, the common occurrence of remarriage has meant a substantial proportion of American children are raised in stepfamilies.

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Four Strengths of Effective Stepfamilies

Do you ever feel like your life is a fairy tale run amok? Like the plot line was hijacked and the princess was left standing in the mud while the ringbearer hogged the silver screen spotlight? Then you know what life can feel like in a stepfamily.

Life is never a fairy tale. It's true that I love my husband and he loves me and we got married. But trying the knot meant that we had to change - both of us. 

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

What Your Stepfamilys Schedule May Need with a New Baby

One of the hardest parts of this time, aside from the separation anxiety and the sheer worry for her health and well-being, was the impact that the two weeks would have on my daughter, stepson, and our stepfamily in general.

We had talked to them a lot about what life would be like once Ariana had arrived.

They would have to share attention, she might cry in the middle of the night, they would have to be gentle, we were counting on them to be helpers, etc.

But we hadn’t appreciated the scheduling nightmare that Ariana’s early arrival would present.

Read more…

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Problem with stepson - need advice talking to husband

The problem is I'm having a really difficult time dealing with his son being here and it creates tension between my husband and I. It's not that he's a bad kid, but I was raised much differently in regards to manners, acceptable behavior, etc.

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A History of Stepfamilies in Early America

A History of Stepfamilies in Early America

Stepfamilies are not a modern phenomenon, but despite this reality, the history of stepfamilies in America has yet to be fully explored. In the first book-length work on the topic, Lisa Wilson examines the stereotypes and actualities of colonial stepfamilies and reveals them to be important factors in early United States domestic history.

Remarriage was a necessity in this era, when war and disease took a heavy toll all too often led to domestic stress, and cultural views of stepfamilies during this time placed great strain on stepmothers and stepfathers. Both were seen as either unfit substitutes or as potentially unstable influences, and nowhere were these concerns stronger than in white middle-class families, for whom stepparents presented a paradox.

Wilson shares the stories of real stepfamilies in early New England, investigating the relationship between prejudice and lived experience, and, in the end, offers a new way of looking at family units throughout history and the cultural stereotypes that still affect stepfamilies today.

Read more A History of Stepfamilies in Early America

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

10 Ways to Improve Relationships With Your Step-Teenagers

10 Ways to Improve Relationships With Your Step-Teenagers - Stepfamily Association:

Struggling to get on with your step teenagers? Whatever you try is met with silence?

Watching your natural child grow into a teenager has a whole host of challenges; relationships alter and parents need to adapt, adopt and change from managing their children's lives to coaching them, in order to keep them communicating.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Anxious Kids Anxious Parents

Anxious Kids Anxious Parents - 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise Courageous and Independent Children

Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents: 7 Ways to Stop the Worry Cycle and Raise...
With anxiety at epidemic levels among our children, Anxious Kids, Anxious Parents offers a contrarian yet effective approach to help children and...

In Step with Your Stepchildren

In Step with Your Stepchildren: Building a Strong One-on-One Relationship

People don’t line up to be stepparents. Yet millions take on this role every year. The husbands and wives don’t necessarily think about what’s ahead or what will be required of them-or perhaps they don’t want to think about it.

Stepparents are adjusting to life with their new spouse, but the stepchildren are making equally difficult adjustments. The kids wonder where they’ll fit into the picture in the new family.

They are often unsure about their place in the lives of their parents and in the new family arrangement. In Step with your Stepchildren explores unique ways that stepparents can build honest, deep, lasting relationships with their stepchildren.

It’s not about blended families but about the one-on-one relationship between a stepparent and a stepchild, teaching stepparents how to relate to each stepchild as an individual. Stepparents have unique challenges and opportunities to influence the lives of their stepchildren.

The goal is to equip stepparents with the emotional and spiritual tools they need to build a loving relationship regardless of the circumstances, to equip and empower them to be an influence for good in the life of that child-not simply to endure the months or years until he or she grows up and moves out.

Focuses on the individual relationship between the stepparent and the stepchild.

Teaches stepparents how to relate to each stepchild as an individual.Stepparents will learn how to be a means of grace, mercy, and love to their stepchildren.

Each chapter includes a section called ’Making Connections,’ a list of practical help, wisdom, and information to enhance stepparents’ relationship with their stepchildren.

In Step with Your Stepchildren -

Saturday, October 4, 2014

The Ultimate Stepfather Handbook - A guide for the surprised

When you become close to someone you meet and then find there's a family to the equation, it can leave you with mixed feelings. What am I walking into? What is my role in the already established hierarchy? What is appropriate for me when conflict happens?

The possibilities are endless and having a good foundation to approach kids with in this situation was never taught in school! You're just thrown in the fray and it can be sink or swim.

The initial approaches and easy to use techniques give a real approach that have a great chance of working in even the most difficult of situations.

If you find yourself falling for a special someone, and they have tagalongs (the kids liked that title) you'll find some great advice here. Read it before you're in the sinkhole!

The Ultimate Step Father Handbook

You’re about to discover:

Being a step father can be a very rewarding experience, especially if you already have ample parenting experience. But for those who are new to parenting, living with your wife’s kids can be a nightmare. If you do not have the right amount of patience and understanding, their disrespect and even outright hostility toward you can surely get on your nerves.

The stress and difficulties of being a step father can also affect the relationship you have with your spouse As an adult and the new man in the house, it is important that you do not become easily angered with hostile behavior. Now that a bigger responsibility sits on your shoulders, you need to be a tough person who can withstand any challenges your family might face.

The Ultimate Step Father Handbook is a book that will teach you various tips and tricks on handling your new family. It will help you in building a strong bond with your step children, disciplining them using the right methods, solving family problems, and a whole lot more. There is also a special handbook section where you will learn about the seven processes blended families must undergo in order to live harmoniously.

This book is dedicated to new stepfathers. Each chapter is short and filled with concepts that are quite easy to grasp. This will help you digest every piece of vital information quickly. But even if you have been a stepfather for some time now, feel free to peruse the contents of this handbook. The valuable lessons found in this handbook can also polish your parenting skills and help you become a more reliable and loving step father.

Do not let any obstacle hinder your dreams of building a fun household with your wife and her kids. Read this book today to discover how to become the best stepdad for your step kids.

The Ultimate Step Father Handbook - How to Be the Best Step Parent in Your Blended Family for Life

Blended Families Success

Whether you have children that are a product of a divorce, death or other life-changing experience, adding a new set of siblings and parents into the mix is something that is a traumatic event, no matter how pleasantly it goes. 

When an adult decides to move on and take that fateful step into marriage once again, the families that result from that marriage can be quite a combo. In this book, Daren Carstens, along with his wife, help you with advice, ideas and theories that will help you along this new road that you are traveling.

You will learn how to love your spouse more, properly discipline your biological and step-children, create a fun, loving household, and move on by grasping the joy that each day in a blended family provides.

With their help you will realize that things that may seem like a curse can be turned into amazing blessings. Life is precious and learning how to live a peaceful one, inside of a house of different personalities is something to be treasured. 

Click here fore more information

How to Include Your Stepfamily and Siblings in Your Family History Charts

A family tree is a representation of your family history.

Having a blended family, a family with members that are not blood related, can make a family tree a challenge if you are unsure where to add them. You have options to add them to your family tree in a way that they will feel appreciated and included in your family.

All it takes is pen and paper to start you on your way to creating a family tree that is truly a representation of your family. 

Read more :

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Very helpful book in dealing with difficult exes

Very helpful book in dealing with difficult exes. It looks into reasons in why they act the way they do and how to let go of your hurt and frustration from past abuse and how to remain civil when sometimes people are not so civil.

His Ex-Wife's Survival Guide - How To Handle His Ex-wife

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Friday, September 26, 2014

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child

Setting Limits with Your Strong-Willed Child: Eliminating Conflict by Establishing CLEAR, Firm, and Respectful Boundaries

In this fully revised and expanded second edition, Setting Limits author Robert MacKenzie is back with even more time-proven methods for dealing with misbehavior and creating positive, respectful, and rewarding relationships with children prone to acting out and disobedience.

Disruptive misbehavior, constant power struggles, manipulative or aggressive behavior--the challenges facing parents and teachers of strong-willed children can seem overwhelming at times.

That's why thousands of parents and educators have turned to the solutions in Setting Limits With Your Strong-Willed Child. This revised and expanded second edition offers the most up-to-date alternatives to punishment and permissiveness--moving beyond traditional methods that wear you down and get you nowhere, and zeroing in on what really works so parents can use their energy in more efficient and productive ways.

With fully updated guidelines on parenting tools like "logical consequences," and examples drawn directly from the modern world that children deal with each day, this is an invaluable resource for anyone wondering how to effectively motivate strong-willed children and instill proper conduct.

Setting Limits with Your Strong Willed Child eBook

What to Expect from a Step-Family

Years ago I read article in a step-family magazine that said step-parents should expect the age of the child who has entered into a step-family to double before the children will truly feel comfortable with you as a parent.

For example, a parent who marries and has a two year old child, the child will likely feel bonded with the step parent by age 4!

What was most disturbing was the idea that a ten year old would be twenty before they really saw the step-parent as a real parenting figure!

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Friday, September 12, 2014

The Ultimate Stepmother Handbook

Are you a stepmother who is frustrated with her new family? Are you afraid that your new stepchildren will never learn to accept and love you?

Being a stepmom can be a really difficult task, especially if the kids are acting hostile towards you; but even though the role is too tough, you should never think about quitting and leaving the household. As an adult, you must have the right amount of patience and understanding in order to conquer these difficulties.

Raising your stepchildren and your new husband offers a lot of emotional benefits, as long as you do it right. In this new and well-developed book called “The Ultimate Stepmother Handbook,” you will learn about various tips and tricks on how to play that role effectively. It has five chapters that will tackle different useful topics such as:

  • The roles and duties of a stepmother in the household
  • The different phases that a blended family has to undergo in order to become happy and whole
  • How to create strong bonds with your new family
  • Pointers on disciplining your new stepchildren
  • The different myths that surround stepmothers and how to change them

The Ultimate Stepmother Handbook is ideal for new stepmothers who have no background experience in parenting. It covers all the basic information that you need to know about the role so you will not have a difficult time in adjusting to your new home.

However, stepmoms who have experienced the struggles of being a stepparent are also welcome to peruse the pages of this book. If you suddenly feel that your stepkids or your husband are becoming distant and aloof towards you, this reading material can help you understand your situation and come up with simple yet effective ways to further improve your relationship.

Have fun reading and I wish that you discover a lot of interesting things that will help you in your new role!

Click here for more information

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wagga stepmums to support one another

A GROUP of women will tread beyond social norms by developing a platform that supports a forgotten and misunderstood group.

A stepmother group, Stepmothers Stepping Through, is forming in Wagga now to provide support, connect and share experiences.

Organiser Carla Hogg hopes the group will encourage discussion and destigmatise stepmothers.

"The group stemmed from an understanding western society is changing and the concept of what a family is made up of is also changing," Mrs Hogg, a stepmother and sessional lecturer, said.

"People are very settled in the way they talk about stepmothers.

The group can be found at or email

Click here for the full story

Stepfamily Resources

Retrieved from ""

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Tools to Help Stepchildren Transition Into Stepfamily Life

Hands down, bringing two households together to form a stepfamily can be hard work and the art of 'blending' is often more difficult than first anticipated.

The impact children have on the survival of the stepfamily is great and this is only compounded when stepsiblings do not get along.

This can place substantial strain on a couple's relationship; thus, placing the stepfamily unit at risk.

With stepfamilies facing the highest rate of break-up during the first 2 years it is essential for couples to approach merging their families from a systematic standpoint.

Read more:

Stepfamily Discipline Issues -

All families have issues. Stepfamilies, however, while sharing the average issues with fully biological families, have a set of issues particular to their circumstances and configuration.

Here are a few of the major, common issues stepparents face, and some suggestions for getting through them.

You'll see that there are special sections for stepfathers and stepmothers, too; that's because, while most of the issues are the same, there are some issues particular to stepparents of each gender.

Read more on FamilyEducation:

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Friday, August 22, 2014

Create a Thriving Environment for Children in Mixed Families

Comment by Barbara Rose on the book Positive Discipline for Blended Families

So many families today are "blended" with new marriages, children from previous marriages, and for the sake of the CHILDREN this book provides pivotal information to help parents and step-parents deal with the everyday problems that are most common and in need of resolution.

This book covers areas such as: "Mistakes are Opportunities to Learn" as opposed to just go on making more mistakes that can ultimately but unknowingly hurt the children. Open and healthy communication with the natural parent of the children; Taking children out of the middle; treating the other parent with respect; Avoiding alienation; "Don't be a Disneyland Parent;" Nonverbal communication; "If the adults are creating conflict - stop it!" "If the child is creating conflict - Understand it!"

Even if you learn just one thing that will make a positive difference in the psychological health and self-esteem of the children, or learn a new method of positive discipline that will help your child overcome a negative pattern, this book is worth buying.

This book is especially useful for families where there is a communication breakdown, either with the children, or either of the natural parents or step- parents. Highly Recommended!

Barbara Rose, Ph.D. author of Stop Being the String Along: A Relationship Guide to Being THE ONE and If God Was Like Man

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The National Stepfamily Resource Center

National Stepfamily

The National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) is a division of Auburn University’s Center for Children, Youth, and Families (CCYF). Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder, Director of the Center for Children, Youth, and Families at Auburn, is the Stepfamily Association of America’s (SAA) former Director of Family Life Education and oversees the activities of the NSRC.

In 2006, the Stepfamily Association of America, the nation’s only nonprofit organization focused on the dissemination of research-based resources for stepfamilies and professionals who work with them, voted not to renew its independent organization 501(c)(3) nonprofit status and donated its history, web site, and experts network to support the development and expansion of The National Stepfamily Resource Center.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Ten Commandments for Stepparents

Based on their own experiences as stepparents and their work with stepparenting couples and groups, Sharon and James Turnbull offer ten commandments for stepparenting.

These guidelines were developed to facilitate familiarity with and appreciation for some of the conflicts and stresses faced by stepparents.

Provide neutral territory. Each child needs a place to call his/her own. When two sets of children are brought together, one group of children may think of themselves as the subfamily unless an effort is made to allow each child a space of his/her own.

Don't try to fit a preconceived role. Each parent is an individual and the children will need time to get used to you. Be honest and straight with them. Make every effort to respond intelligently and kindly but remember children are good at detecting phoniness.

Set limits and enforce them. You and your partner need to work out rules in advance and need to support each other when these rules need to be enforced. Keep the rules simple and few in number at the beginning. Fighting between you and your partner can really complicate things and children will try to take advantage of any fighting that does occur.

Allow an outlet for the child's feelings for the natural parent. Children need to express their feelings for the natural parent without being made to feel disloyal. Expressing love for a missing natural parent should not be looked on as rejection by the stepparent.

Expect ambivalence–children will show both love and hate for the stepparent. Ambivalence is normal in all human relationships. In the stepparent-child relationship it may be heightened because of the child's concern about being disloyal to the natural parent.

Avoid meal time misery. Stepparents may view the child's refusal to eat as rejection and frequently table manners become an issue. Children need to know what the rules are and usually will quickly learn to follow them. Avoid as much hassle as possible, allowing kids to fix their own meals or sharing this task when children are old enough.

Don't expect instant love; it takes time for emotional bonds to form and sometimes this never occurs. Children under three usually have an easier time adapting but in some relationships even the loving child will use the words, "I hate you," as a weapon when he/she gets older.

Don't take all the responsibility–the child has some too. The child's make-up, attitudes, and behavior may prevent the child from working with the stepparent. The stepparent can only do so much. How well she/he gets along with the child depends in part on the child.

Be patient–building trust takes time. Developing a New relationship and learning to get along in a new family with different rules and expectations takes time–sometimes months and years.

Maintain the privacy of the marital relationship. While the parenting role is important, the couple needs to spend time maintaining and strengthening the marriage relationship. The children will feel more secure if they realize that the parents get along together, can settle disputes and, most of all, cannot be divided by the children.

MN Children Youth & Family Consortium Electronic Clearinghouse. Permission is granted to create and distribute copies of these documents for non-commercial purposes provided that the author and MN CYFCEC receive acknowledgment and this notice is included. Phone: 612/626-9582;

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Co-Parenting After Divorce

Co-Parenting After Divorce: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children in Two-Home Families

Co-Parenting After Divorce: How to Raise Happy, Healthy Children in Two-Home Families
By Diana Shulman

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Since the divorce procedure has become, legally speaking, nearly as innocuous as apple pie in America, the task has fallen to psychologists such as Shulman to provide both adults and children with the tools to get on with their lives.

In this book, devoted to the immense parenting problems of divorce, no space is wasted with esoteric or gushy narrative; Shulman writes in the style of a how-to manual. The book nonetheless achieves its stated goal of being "an unintimidating and practical guide to help with the adjustment process."

From the basics of "Creating a Co-Parenting Plan" to the specifics of handling the problems of children from infancy on up to age 18 in dealing with the divorce milieu, Shulman provides practical, straightforward capsules often broken down into useful steps.

Though this is most suitable for divorced parents as a "ready reference" guide for thinking quickly on one's feet, public libraries would certainly do patrons a service by adding it to their collections.?David M. Turkalo, Suffolk Univ. Law Sch. Lib., BostonCopyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Divorced Spouses Remain Co-parents

Source: Sandy Bailey, Montana State University Extension Family and Human Development Specialist & Montana Mediation Association 1/23/02

After divorce, children are members of two families and former spouses need to cooperate to make both homes supportive and secure for their children. Co-parenting skills are especially important, said Sandy Bailey, Montana State University Extension family and human development specialist.

In a new MontGuide fact sheet, "Co-Parenting After Divorce," Bailey offers information that may be helpful to parents who are going through divorce or have gone through divorce in the past and are looking for new ways to cooperate.

The bottom line in the four-page fact sheet is that children are generally better off when they are able to maintain the family relationships that were important to them prior to the divorce and when their parents are able to cooperate and be generally supportive of one another. That might not always be easy, but Bailey says that planning helps.

Even if they would prefer to avoid each other, parents need to develop a "limited partnership." The partnership needs to be clear, include both households, and be practical.

According to Maureen McInnis, a member of the Montana Mediation Association who operates a custodial mediation practice in Great Falls, the more parents can cooperate together the more they can stay in control of their parenting plan.

There are a variety of possible arrangements for a parenting plan and arrangements may need to change as the child gets older or if family situations change.

Sometimes the child lives with one parent and spends alternating weekends at the other parent's home. Some families alternate between the school year and school vacations. In other families, children move from one home to the other by splitting the week, a period of six months or the whole year.

On special occasions, some families split the day, some switch off year to year and some are able to have the parents come together and share the day with their children.

Different arrangements work for different families. Things to consider include the child's age and temperament, keeping life consistent for the child and keeping contact with both parents frequent.

There are many things to bear in mind when creating a healthy post-divorce environment, but the first thing on the list is to focus on your child's needs first, says Bailey.

She also acknowledges that cooperation may not be possible in every family. "If working with your former spouse is not possible, remaining in your child's life is still important. Some people do this through 'parallel parenting,' where they parent individually, but each continues to remain actively involved in their child's life."

Co-parenting classes are available in some communities, and in cases where cooperation is difficult, a mediator may be able to help facilitate differences between parents so that they can come to an agreement. For information on mediation resources, contact the Montana Mediation Association at (406) 522-0909. For a copy of "Co-Parenting after Divorce," (MT200111) or other parenting resources, contact Denise Seilstad, MSU Fergus County Extension Agent.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Putting Children First

Putting Children First: Proven Parenting Strategies for Helping Children Thrive Through Divorce

An internationally renowned authority on children and divorce reveals the latest research-based strategies for helping children survive and thrive before, during, and long after their parents divorce.

The breakup of a family can have an enduring impact on children. But as explains with clarity and compassion in this powerful book, parents can positively alter the immediate and long-term effects of . The key is proven, emotionally intelligent parenting strategies that promote children's emotional health, resilience, and ability to lead satisfying lives.

Over the past three decades, Pedro-Carroll has worked with families in transition, conducted research, and developed and directed award- winning, court-endorsed programs that have helped thousands of families navigate divorce and its aftermath. Now she shares practical, research- based advice that helps parents:

  • gain a deeper understanding of what their children are experiencing
  • develop emotionally intelligent parenting strategies with the critical combination of boundless love and appropriate limits on behavior
  • reduce conflict with a former spouse and protect children from conflict's damaging effects
  • learn what recent brain research reveals about stress and children's developing capabilities

Filled with the voices and drawings of children and the stories of families, delivers a positive vision for a future of hope and healing.

Tags: Children and Divorce, Divorce, Pedro-Carroll, Navigate Divorce


Thursday, July 3, 2014

Blending Families Successfully

According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than half of the people who get married in the United States remain with their first spouse, and less than 50 percent of children grow up with both biological parents. In short, we live in a society of blended families. Everyone who survives a divorce and enters a new family is vulnerable.

Blending Families Successfully: Helping Parents and Kids Navigate the Challenges So That Everyone Ends Up HappyGeorge Glass, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, has designed a book to help parents understand the challenges of beginning new lives with blended families, and to help their children make the necessary adjustments. He explains how to approach unavoidable dilemmas when they occur and offers invaluable lessons about the link between divorce and issues of self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, and relationship failures that often result from the breakup of a family.

Gathered from his years in practice and his own personal experience as a member of a blended family, Glass provides practical solutions to everyday problems. Blending a family, Glass explains, is a process, which requires patience. It can take a long time to develop trust, acceptance, and a willingness to overlook transgressions that in the beginning can cause tension. Each chapter offers specific advice to help blended family members improve their communication skills and ease the transitions from separate households into a larger, combined community. Taken together with a steady dose of “Dos and Don’ts,” this book provides an inspiring toolkit for families in need.

Click here for more information

Stepmonster: A New Look at Why Real Stepmothers Think, Feel, and Act the Way We Do

She's frank about the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, she considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, and she counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems that often develop. Click here for more information

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Stepmother Love

Ten inspiring stories from the frontline of parenting, including Sara Leonardi-McGrath

Stepmothers have a bad rap. Who gave Snow White the poisonous apple? Who enslaved Cinderella? Given that one in four Australian families are ‘blended’, it’s time to throw out the wicked stepmother image and give people a genuine account of what it’s like to walk in her shoes.


Stepmother Love tells the stories of ten women who have chosen to take on the challenge of making a positive contribution to the lives of their stepchildren. There are no white picket fences or rose-coloured glasses, but there are many enriching insights into these families’ journeys to find happiness. This groundbreaking book reveals how these women overcame grief, hostility and even disinterest to build loving, long-term, trusting relationships with their stepchildren.

There are millions of stepmothers working hard on their family relationships and Stepmother Love is an inspiring collection of stories that will uplift, help and support any woman who is doing the toughest parenting gig of all – as well as acknowledge their tough role and the courage it takes to make it work. Most importantly, Stepmother Love celebrates the commitment they show in the day-to-day care of stepchildren of all ages as an act of love.

Sally Collins is the proud stepmother of two wonderful young women and set up her popular website to share stories, tips and support. She lives in Melbourne with her husband and their young children.

Click here for more information

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Active Parenting for Stepfamilies

From Stepfamily Wiki


For stepfamilies, getting married is the easy part!

This encouraging guide will help couples work together to raise children in the challenging stepfamily environment.

They will also learn how to use powerful communication and negotiation skills to strengthen marriage and family.

Written for parents and stepparents to use together, this book combines the knowledge of Active Parenting author Michael Popkin and stepfamily expert Elizabeth Einstein.

Stepfamily Books

Click here for more Stepfamily Books

Stepfamily Resources

Retrieved from ""


Thursday, May 8, 2014

Adult stepdaughter ignores me

  • Adult step daughter, divide and conquer? | Step Talk › ... › Adult Stepchildren Issues  

    How do I recognize actual attempts by an adult step child to divide and ... They openly ignore me in my own home, are deliberatley rude, or tell ...

  • Feeling Helpless to My Stepdaughter's Cruelty : I Hate My ...

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  • Adult Stepdaughter Still Resents Me After 20 Years - Stepfamily ...

    Her resentment toward me and my 2 grown children is obvious. ... This ignoring behavior from the stepdaughter is probably not about you ...

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    I hate my step daughter


    Stepdaughter shunning me after 17 yrs


    I despise my stepchild...what do I do?


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  • Adult Stepparenting 101:Help for New Stepmoms with ...


    Aug 11, 2006 - Building a relationship with adult stepchildren can be a difficult challenge. ... stress off myself by allowing them to get to know me at their own pace. ... If your stepchild asks you for advice, then, by all means, be willing to give it.

  • "My Stepdaughter Is Out to Get Me!" - Ladies' Home Journal › ... › Kids

    Ladies' Home Journal

    My husband's daughter seems to hate me, and my husband doesn't do ... follow my household rules, and even flat-out ignores me when I'm talking to her. Worse ...

  • How not to be a step mum: Not my child.

    Jul 6, 2007 - My stepdaughter behaves the way she does towards me because her ... I get so irritated when my stepdaughter blatantly ignores me, I do with ...

  • Stepmothers on Strike: How Can Doing Less Save Your ...

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    Feb 24, 2011 - They tell me the issue feels so overwhelming and huge to them, ... I am that his kids treat me the way they do-ignoring me when I walk in the room and ... giving your husband advice about his young adult or adult stepchildren.

  • How Can I Get The Respect Of My Step Daughters After 3 Yrs › ... › Welcome to Circle of Moms!!

    I had lots of advice from people telling me just to ignore my stepdaughter and not do things with .... You are the caring adult that their father loved and married.

  • Stepdaughter, 19, Cannot Stand Me. - Circle of Moms › All CommunitiesStep Moms

    Can I just ignore her existence the way she ignores me? ..... She is pretty much an adult, and if she doesn't want to act like one then pack her bag and put it on ...

  • Does anyone else have problems with adult stepchildren ...

    Dec 15, 2010 - I have 3 who are for the most part, polite and courteous to me when in my presence. ... say that the biggest problem of all is not one of my stepkids but in actuality, a step daughter in law. .... they greet you and do not ignore you.

  • Monday, April 21, 2014


    If you’re one of the more than 15 million stepmothers in the country, you know the particular trials—and joys—of stepfamily dynamics today. You wonder if you’re doing the right thing and, as a stepmother, many of your specific questions are unique.

    In this second edition of Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without
    Feeling Frustrated, Left Out, or Wicked
    , journalist and stepmother Cherie Burns brings together countless insights and sound advice, based on the latest research and interviews with experts in the field (including dozens of other stepmoms), to answer questions such as:
    • How do you manage discipline when parents and stepparents disagree?
    • How can you help stepsiblings get along?
    • How do you handle birthdays, holidays, and weddings?
    • What’s the best way to get along with your stepchild’s mother?
    • When should you seek a therapist’s help?
    Burns’s wise and empathetic suggestions go beyond struggle, stigma, and compromise, showing how sensitive, informed stepmothers can take charge—and pride—in their role, becoming more effective and fulfilled.


    Stepmotherhood: How to Survive Without Feeling Frustrated, Left Out, or Wicked, Revised Edition