Getting divorced and learning how to co-parent with a former spouse is no easy task. When a remarriage takes place, a whole new level of challenges can be experienced for parents and kids alike. Parents remarrying with kids need to work hard not only to make their new families successful but also to maintain strong relationships between their children and their former spouses.
HandInHandParenting explains that for children who live in two homes, a parent and new stepparent should allow extra space for emotional adjustments when kids come back from the other parent’s home. Some children will make this transition easier than others but it is nonetheless a switch for all kids. Being cognizant of this can help children more seamlessly move back and forth.
Both a biological and a stepparent must be very mindful to always be respectful about and to the other biological parent. Doing anything else not only undermines the child’s relationship with that parent but may also undermine the child’s relationship with the disrespectful parent or stepparent. This can take many forms from greeting the other parent politely and even warmly to complimenting the other parent in front of or directly to the child.
Similarly, Empowering Parents advises moms and dads to be wary of the temptation to try and outdo a stepchild’s other biological parent. A stepmom, for example, should never think she can be a better mom to her stepkids. Parents in blended families should work hard to establish special relationships for the stepkids and stepparents so that the relationships with the biological parents are never threatened.