The Dilemmas of Step-parenting
Key Points
  • Children may become depressed over unresolved issues stemming from a divorce and introduction of a stepparent. It may prove beneficial to provide counseling for all family members.
  • If your child is acting out or there is a different, negative behavior, it may be prudent to seek help. Your child is experiencing issues and challenges he or she never imagined.
  • Poor expectations when it comes to step-parenting or a step-family can lead to a second marriage failing. Making sure everyone is adjusting as best as they can should be a priority.

Many children and adolescents bring unresolved losses into their stepfamily. If these losses increase, children and adolescents may get depressed or act out against authority, which can lead to school adjustment difficulties. Counseling for adolescents who need understanding, support, and outside guidance is crucial to their well-being and enhances the quality of stepfamily life for everyone.

Stepfamily counseling can benefit everyone involved. Stepfamily living involves many situations and conflicts that are built-in to the family structure. Many people hate conflict and hope to avoid it at all costs. Remarried couples come from marriages that had too much conflict. Counseling helps the adults focus on stepfamily issues, manage them, and look at them from new perspectives. Most new stepfamily members have no idea about what to expect when they start out as a stepfamily. Poor understanding and a failure to adjust to it cause stepfamilies to fail and second marriages to fail.

Useful Online Tools

Suggested Reading
Creating a Successful Parenting Plan Creating a Successful Parenting Plan
This extraordinary book and computer disk offers separating or divorcing parents a sure-fire way to create a workable, practical parenting plan/agreement that is in the best interest of their children.

Author: Jayne A. Major, Ph.D.

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