Coparenting

Dating After Divorce? Consider Blended Families

Bonus children, FTW!

When it comes to dating for re-singled (a.k.a. divorced) parents, odds are that the people you're dating will have kids of their own, too. Thoughts of entering into a serious relationship or even remarriage gives many re-singled parents cause for pause if not outright alarm because we've all heard the stories about evil stepparents since we were little (thank you, Cinderella!).

But that's not how it has to be! With a bit of work, It's possible to create successful blended families.

My husband and I met online through eHarmony. The picture he used for his profile was an adorable one of him with his youngest son (now my bonus son). When we had our first date, one of the things I asked him about was his kids.

Boy, talk about a conversation killer! He made it clear that he didn't want to talk about them. I laughed a bit when he told me this and told him that he should probably consider changing his profile picture in light of that! Luckily, we found other things to talk about and wound up enjoying our evening.

What I didn't know then was that his first attempt at a blended family didn't turn…

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What I Wish All Kids Of Divorced Parents Thought About The Holidays

Children reading a story about divorce and the holidays.

For way too many kids of divorced parents the holidays aren’t all that merry. Instead, the holidays are filled with confusion and guilt.

These kids experience confusion because they often have a hard time keeping track of schedules about when they’re going to be with Mom, when they’re going to be with Dad and when they’re going to be with their friends. Then layered on top of this confusion is guilt.

Kids of divorced parents often feel the need to be actors. They don’t want to upset Mom by talking about Dad in front of her and they don’t want to upset Dad by talking about Mom in front of him. So, these kids learn to act like their other parent isn’t as important as the parent they’re with right now. The pressure to continue the charade amps up around the holidays and then the guilt comes. Many of these kids feel guilty that they’re looking forward to being with the other parent and that they have to leave the parent they’re with right now to do that.

I got to see this confusion and guilt first-hand with my bonus sons.

The first time I spent the holidays with the boys, I was uncertain what…

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Just finished a great book – Raising the Kid You Love with the Ex You Hate

Image of co-parenting book: Raising the kid you love with the ex you hate

Edward Farber, PhD is releasing his new book Raising the Kid You Love with the Ex You Hate next week. I was lucky enough to receive an Advance Reviewer’s Copy and I do mean lucky.

Ed’s book is full of fabulous advice about how to make the business of co-parenting work after the business of marriage has failed. The basis of his advice about successful co-parenting hinges on these three principles:

  1. Your child needs both parents
  2. Reduce parental conflict after the separation
  3. Both parents make decisions

Parents who can agree to abide by these three principles will have a headstart in helping their children be happy, healthy adults. To be implemented well, each parent needs to be consistently focused on them and communicate regularly with their ex to make sure they’re on the same page. Continuing to interact with your ex after divorce may not be something you look forward to, but, as Dr Farber points out, it’s necessary to being able to raise the kid you love.

I really appreciated reading this no non-sense approach to making co-parenting work along with the real-life stories from Ed’s practice, but probably the best part of this book is the fact that he shares ideas for non-ideal co-parenting…

Read more: Just finished a great book – Raising the Kid You Love with the Ex You Hate

How YOUR Anger Affects Your Children During Divorce

Wendy Archer is a parental alienation expert.

It’s only natural to feel some anger when a marriage breaks down to the point of no return. It is understandable to be angry when feeling betrayed by anyone, especially a spouse or ex-spouse. Anger is such a powerful emotion that sometimes it is nearly impossible to keep it to ourselves, even during moments when we know we should. This is not to say that anger should be avoided or hidden. Recognizing and dealing with anger is an important part of healing and moving on from a divorce. There are right times, right places and right ways to acknowledge, express and work through anger towards your ex-spouse…none of which are in front of your children!

Regardless of how angry you are and regardless of how justified your anger might be towards the other parent, burdening your children with your anger towards the other parent is not only unfair to your children but can cause them very serious emotional harm.

Children naturally love both of their parents, regardless of their adult mistakes and regardless of how flawed or imperfect the parents may be. When one parent disparages the other parent to or in front of a child, it is like a knife in that child’s heart. Disparaging…

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Feeling Stuck, Lost And Confused?

Divorce is one of the most painful and complicated things you’ll ever experience.

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Get your FREE copy of “What You Need To Know To FINALLY Start Healing From Your Divorce Right Now” workbook to help you start feeling better.

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