Learn what kids really think about divorce, remarriage and living with stepparents as Jayne Nicoletti chats with her stepdaughter in this candid and heartfelt interview–just in time for Mother’s Day!
How would you describe your relationship with your stepchildren? Share your thoughts in the comments below!
The Ties That Bind: How to Navigate Loyalty Conflicts in Stepfamilies By Heather Hetchler, MA
A few weeks ago, I received a frantic call from a stepmom. We met the next day for coffee.
Through shouts of anger and a flood of tears, she shared her hurting heart. It was visible that Debbie was in deep pain. She’s been Sarah’s stepmom for the past 10 years and has physically and emotionally taken on the role of “Mom,” as Sarah’s biological mother floats in and out of her life. Continue reading “Stepfamily Loyalty Binds: Inside the April 2017 Issue”
Is It Parental Alienation? Recognizing the Symptoms, Signs and Solutions by Kristan McLean, LCSW
I write this article to shed light to an important topic. I want you to know what parental alienation is. I want you to be able to recognize its signs and symptoms. I also want you to realize that, if you or your partner are being alienated against, it’s not OK and you are not alone. Continue reading “Parental Alienation: Inside the March 2017 Issue”
Financing Your Stepkids’ Teen Years: Protect Yourself—and Your Savings—From the Teenage Money Pit by Mary T. Kelly, MA
Teens have been known, throughout the ages, to be reckless and careless with their possessions, their lives and those of other people. Some 2,300 years ago, Aristotle wisely said: “The young are heated by Nature, as drunken men by wine.” He should have added that their antics could end up costing a hell of a lot of money. Continue reading “Teen Stepkids and Money: Inside the January 2017 Issue”
Dad’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Days: Ways to Help Your Partner Parent Better by Mary T. Kelly, MA
“When I got out of bed this morning, I tripped on the skateboard and, by mistake, I dropped my sweater in the sink—while the water was running …. I think I’ll move to Australia.”
—excerpt from “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day,” by Judith Viorst
The opening excerpt is from a wildly popular children’s book that kids can relate to because, in truth, kids have bad days of their own. And, though your partner may not admit this, he has definitely experienced a slew of terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days, too—as a dad—and he doesn’t feel very good about it. Continue reading “Parenting Advice: Inside the December 2016 Issue”
Stepfamily Holiday Blues: Learning to Celebrate a Season for Two by Claudette Chenevert
IT’S CHRISTMAS MORNING. You wake up all excited but soon realize that this year is different. This Christmas will not be spent opening presents with your stepkids or even your own kids.
This Christmas it’s going to be just you and your spouse. A lump forms in your throat, as you think about it. You know it’s just another day, right? So what if you don’t have a houseful of squealing kids shouting “YES! I got my new phone!” or “Thanks for this gift. I really like it!”
Last year—for the first time, as we’re now parents of adult children—Bernard and I experienced Christmas without any of our kids. Continue reading “Stepfamily Holiday Blues: Inside the December 2016 Issue”
The Parentified Child: When Stepkids Are Forced to Grow Up Too Fast
by Brenda Snyder, LCSW
When an intact family system reorganizes by death or divorce, every family member makes adjustments to the new structure. Unfortunately for the children, the adults are often so steeped in their own emotional pain that they are oblivious— through no real fault of their own—to the unhealthy accommodations their kids wind up making. While this is certainly not optimal for the adults, it can be devastating to the emotional health of their children.
It can be quite common, in one-parent families, for a child to hear that he or she is now the man or woman of the house. Continue reading “Parentified Stepchildren: Inside the November 2016 Issue”
Stepmoms and Rejection: 5 Ways to Deal When You’ve Been Dissed by Mary T. Kelly, MA
Do any—or all—of these complaints ring a bell for you? They will if you suspect that the stepkids are none too thrilled with you:
⊲ “I’ve never felt so disliked or unwelcomed.”
⊲ “His ex hates me. Now? His kids hate me, too.”
⊲ “His kids were never warm, friendly or kind—despite my efforts.”
⊲ “My stepdaughter and I were close. She turned 13 and it all went sour.”
⊲ “My stepkids loved me before I moved in. They took a 180-degree turn after I unpacked my bags.” Continue reading “Stepmoms and Rejection: Inside the October 2016 Issue”
Is Your Stepfamily Lying to You? The Secrets Stepkids, Partners and Exes Keep by Claudette Chenevert
Many stepmoms get frustrated when their stepkids lie about one thing or another. The lies can be major, in an attempt to gloss over breaking curfew, doing drugs, drinking alcohol or stealing. They also can be a series of small lies related to homework, chores or anything else imaginable.
One of the reasons stepmoms seek my help is to deal with such situations. They’re simply not sure of how to handle lying—whether it’s their stepkids fibbing, their partners routinely omitting key information or the exes in their lives embellishing on reality until it’s unrecognizable. Continue reading “Stepfamily Secrets: Inside the October 2016 Issue”