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SATURDAY Q & A 3/5/11

5 Mar

NOTE: Read this. Society is changing so one out of two children will at some point in their lives, live in a step-family. So, DON’T IGNORE THIS BLOG!!

QUESTION #1 How do you deal with your children when they have been affected through your remarriage? How do you deal with the hurt and anger the children now have towards their step-father?

ANSWER #1 These are some powerfully loaded questions. I would need to ask you many questions like, how many kids do you and him have, what are their ages, how long did you wait after the other spouse was gone, to get remarried, etc.

First I want to recommend videos that I have not seen yet, but I have heard their cds. It is about active parenting in stepfamilies. The authors are Michael Popkin and Elizabeth Einstein. Look up their website for their materials. MOST comments that I will be making are from their seminar at Smart Marriages 2007.

1. It is essential for both step-parents to be united regarding parental approach. Repeat, the marriage must be united in order for the children to be successful.

2. What makes step-parenting different

A). Too close. Too soon syndrome.

After the death of a parent or a divorce, parents don t want to do the hard work of grieving or help their children through their trauma. They would rather remarry. Notice that there is nowhere in the bible where remarriage is discussed.

B). Parents bring their same old self and same old baggage into the next marriage.

3. Denial is another issue.

Denying the kids their need to grieve. Kids need both biological parents in their lives. Having an absentee parent is a very devastating thing to a child. They frequently take that out on the step-parent. Your X-spouse is your childs parent and they must be integrated into the system.

4. Denying intense feelings. Anger, jealousy, hurt, fear are all there. Kids have to take these feelings out on somebody, so they pick their step-parent. Structure takes from 4-7 years if they have had help with inner- healing. The sad fact is that most divorcees remarry within 3-5 years. That means that the children have not recovered and their healing process is not finished. There is whole extended system of extra people. For the children, each step parent has a family forest the children are immediately thrown into. They didn t grow up with these families nor did they chose them. But now they have to turn their delicate emotions around and please everyone instantly. This is difficult for an adult, how much more a child. Help them or they will be angry, bitter and not accept discipline from anyone. They need to know they have two loving parents in both homes and responsibilities in both homes. There is no biological connection from a step-parent, so they will not accept discipline early on.

5. Main challenges.

1. Discipline

2. Money

Lack of parenting skills can kill a marriage. Successful families learn from their problems but all families have problems. Problems give the parents an opportunity to teach problem-solving skills.

6. Understand instant love is a myth. You may never love your step parent or step child so go for relationship. Acceptance, trust and respect are what a relationship needs. The love may never come but acceptance, trust and respect you MUST HAVE.

There is a lot of help out there for step families. Please, please take advantage of it. DON T do it on your own. Those kids need the help!!!