7 years ago73 views
Parenting: Kids From First Marriage Getting Along with New Spouse - as part of the expert series by GeoBeats. Hi, I am Dr. Laura Markham of ahaparenting.com. I am often asked by parents who get divorced, "How can I help my child accept my new spouse when I remarry?" Well, this is not something that can be forced, but there are some things you can do to make that happy home more likely. The first thing is to delay dating. Remember, your child has just had his or her life turned upside down, and you may have been in a loveless marriage for a while or a marriage full of conflict and you may be ready to move on and start a new life and wondering when you will find Mr. or Ms. "Right". But your child did not get divorced. Your child is still reeling and trying to adjust to the divorce. And the statistics on this show that for the first two years after the divorce your child is at risk, and the number one risk factor is losing the relationship with each parent. That does not mean necessarily that you move away and leave your child. It might, but it might also mean you become distant from your child, because your child is too angry and you are not helping your child with emotions. So you need to delay dating and really focus on your child for that two years. That also brings us to number two which is: stay connected with your child, right! So emotion coach your child through the divorce, and then, once you do meet somebody new, you will need to be emotion coaching your child through the new relationship. You need to stay very connected to your child so that he or she is not having to fight for your attention. If the parents are divorced and the new mom or step mom comes on the scene and the six year old girl feels like she has to fight with the new step mom for daddy's attention, that is a recipe for disaster, right, you do not need that. Which brings us to the third thing you can do. The third thing you can do is remember that your child will not be happy about this. You are thrilled, you just found Ms. "Right" or Mr. "Right", but your child wanted you to stay married to his or her mom or dad. The last thing your child wanted was for you to find this new person and bring her into your child's life. So your child does not have to be happy about this. You can accept that she is going to have mixed emotions or negative emotions, and take it slowly, one step at a time, and over time your child will get used to the idea.