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An Open Letter To My Future Stepmom, From My 12-Year-Old Self

Jamie Scrimgeour | Posted 11.12.2015 | Divorce
Jamie Scrimgeour

We did not ask for our parents to break up. I know that's not entirely fair to you. Because this is your relationship and your life too... but remember, when you signed up to marry my dad, you signed up for us, too.

My Daughter Acts Out When Step-Sister Visits

Susan Stiffelman | Posted 07.16.2015 | Parents
Susan Stiffelman

With time, and plenty of opportunity to move through difficult feelings, your children should find their way toward building lifelong bonds. Meanwhile, slow things down, expect hiccups, and make room for the big feelings that come as tender hearts adjust to changes in life's routines.

Why We're So Proud of You ... and of Us ... on your Graduation Day

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 06.03.2015 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

Tomorrow you will graduate from elementary school. Tomorrow we will all sit in little folding chairs in the cafeteria, watching proudly as you and your classmates line up and walk onto the stage to receive your diplomas.

How Being a Stepmom Makes Me a Better Parent

Christine Carter, PhD | Posted 05.07.2015 | Parents
Christine Carter, PhD

Noticing how differently I was behaving with my stepchildren was a giant wake-up call. I needed to be more supportive of Molly and Fiona without being intrusive, to make requests without being so bossy.

8 Tips for Stepmoms Experiencing Outsider Syndrome

Jenna Korf | Posted 05.27.2015 | Divorce
Jenna Korf

If you fall into the trap of behaving like an outsider because that's how you're feeling, you'll only continue the cycle. Focus more on your own life and other aspects of it, enjoying your marriage and friends and focus less on the kids.

5 Boldfaced Lies About Being A Stepmom

Brenda Ockun | Posted 05.26.2015 | Divorce
Brenda Ockun

Relationships take time, so don't let anyone define your family's natural progression. Practice kindness and mutual respect. If love develops? Great! Consider it a bonus.

An Open Letter to Anyone Dealing With Our Blended Family

Heather Leiva | Posted 04.13.2015 | Divorce
Heather Leiva

Creating a solid foundation for our family is our primary concern, and we appreciate your patience as we grow and learn. Sometimes we just need time to focus on this new family unit. We miss you, and we love you, but we love us most.

Don't Call My Stepkids 'Baggage!' Your Trash Just So Happens to Be My Treasure

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 03.23.2015 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

Do I mind that my stepkids are referred to as leftover "baggage?" You bet, I do.

Yours, Mine and Ours: Planning Stepfamily Finances

Jason Alderman | Posted 03.09.2015 | Money
Jason Alderman

Couples planning to blend families often have to make financial arrangements that respect previous relationships with ex-spouses and their families. Issues range from childcare and eldercare to potentially complex matters. That's why involving trained experts in stepfamily financial planning is a must.

What All Stepparents Need To Know This Holiday Season

Dr. Gail Gross | Posted 02.08.2015 | Parents
Dr. Gail Gross

When in front of each of your children, you and your new partner must present a united front. Whether you agree or disagree should be saved for private moments. Both sets of children need to see you two working together as a strong unit.

Is Coffee-Shop Divorce Coaching an Alternative to Couch Therapy?

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 01.05.2015 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

Would the comfy lounge chairs and soothing smell of lattes create the kind of inviting atmosphere, where people going through the most challenges conflicts of their lives, could open up and discuss their divorce?

What Do Marathons and Divorce Have in Common?

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 01.03.2015 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

Most who have been through a divorce will tell you that it is a marathon, not a sprint. In order to get to the finish line without collapsing, it is helpful to have a coach guide you from beginning to end.

To All You Spooky Scary Frightening Evil Stepmothers

Mary T. Kelly, M.A. | Posted 12.31.2014 | Divorce
Mary T. Kelly, M.A.

Unless you are truly an "evil stepmother" (and there are some), releasing expectations of acceptance and love from your stepchildren will allow you to focus more on your partner, building a strong and lasting union, which certainly benefits the kids who don't need to go through another horror of a family splintering in different directions.

9 Strategies For Making A Blended Family Blend

Posted 12.16.2014 | Dr. Phil

Is your blended family just like The Brady Bunch? Probably not, because it’s not easy to combine two families into a new unit. Welcoming a new spous...

Halloween Trick or Treat Tips for Parents With Kids of Divorce

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 12.22.2014 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

You're now embracing your newfound life co-parenting, your children can and have a right to have a great night and create wonderful memories with their family and friends.

'Sex and The City' and 'The Way We Were' Collided in Southampton

Dani Alpert | Posted 12.21.2014 | Divorce
Dani Alpert

On Saturday night, we decided to shake it up and watch a movie. Within seconds of opening the DVD cabinet, The Way We Were seemed to magically fall off the shelf and into our hands. Maybe it was an omen.

Move Over, First Families: 'Blended' Families Are the New Game in Town

Beverly Willett | Posted 11.17.2014 | Divorce
Beverly Willett

Ads like Honey Maid's, however, place moms like me and dads like my ex potentially on the defensive, maybe even to be labeled bigots. But why should I ever need to defend myself for wanting to make sure that my children know that their dad is 'Dad' and their mom is 'Mom.'

What if We Could All be Like Brangelina?

Barbara Goldberg | Posted 11.02.2014 | Entertainment
Barbara Goldberg

What if Brad had been a woman who had taken on the responsibility of her man's children? Uh oh! Now, that woman would be labeled a stepmother, and we all know what that means. She would be looked upon as a mistress for the rest of her life.

Doin' the 2-Step When Your Stepkids Are Ruining Your Marriage

Diane L. Danois, J.D. | Posted 10.25.2014 | Divorce
Diane L. Danois, J.D.

Most parents will admit that their darling, little angels have, at one point or another, caused a riff in their relationship. Raising children, whether as single parents, as dual parents or as a co-parenting team of several adults, can be challenging and stressful.

When a Stepmother Has Her Period

Barbara Goldberg | Posted 10.05.2014 | Divorce
Barbara Goldberg

I see all the stepmothers running to spas and hotels for seven days a month. Then, over time, all of the stepmothers' periods would start to coordinate to the same week each month (The McClintock Effect). Now, the world would be without any stepmothers for one week every month.

How My Stepdaughters Toppled My Great Big Daddy Ego

Doug Zeigler | Posted 03.16.2014 | Parents
Doug Zeigler

To me, raising sons was easy. I'm a man, and I used to be a boy. I can relate. Girls, though... Not a clue.

3 Days in the Life of a Blended Family of Seven

Elizabeth Denham | Posted 03.15.2014 | Divorce
Elizabeth Denham

I am a planner. Google calendar is my friend. I have five kids' and two adults' calendars on my phone, with alerts programmed to mine and theirs (thou...

7 Tips for Getting Along Better With Your Stepkids

Ann Blumenthal Jacobs | Posted 03.10.2014 | Divorce
Ann Blumenthal Jacobs

Let the kids have plenty of alone time with their dad. They need to talk to him and no matter how long you've been in the picture, you are still not part of the child-father equation.

Letting Go of the Custody Agreement

Amy Arndt | Posted 02.22.2014 | Divorce
Amy Arndt

The schedule is so complex I'm convinced the attorneys who wrote it up did it during a drinking game where each time a schedule change happened, somebody drank, and when it was finished, they were sloshed.

10 Tips For Navigating The Holidays As A Blended Family

Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW | Posted 02.18.2014 | Divorce
Terry Gaspard, MSW, LICSW

The Holiday season doesn't have to be a time of stress overload for stepfamilies.