Father and Child

Saying Goodbye: Custody Transition Do’s and Don’ts

Years ago, when we first began sharing custody, I dreaded the time my children were with their father. I missed them terribly, and transitions triggered all my grief and guilt about our divorce. I felt like a part-time parent and the days…
Mother and Adult Daughter

All Mothers Matter

I recently watched my grandmother die. She was nearly 93, at the end of a long and storied life, and she had no pain. My mother and I were with her, alone together in the room as she left us. In offering condolences, the hospice workers commented…
Teenagers

Building Teenage Confidence Isn’t One Giant Leap

The teenage years are well known as a time of self-doubt and low confidence. This can happen for a number of reasons, but you’ll be pleased to know that there are lots of things you can do to help your step-teenager counteract such feelings. During…
Sad Teenager

Helping Your Step-Teenager Deal with the ‘Big Issues’

The ‘big issues’ facing today’s teenagers may not immediately be obvious. Drugs, alcohol, sex, and relationships have traditionally been the things parents worry about, but also high on the list of today’s problems facing teenagers…
Boy Sitting Exam

Helping your Step-Teenager through the Exam Season

Exam season can be a very stressful time, not just for the teenager sitting the exams, but also for the whole family. Such immense pressure, if left unmanaged, can cause a loss of focus, increasing anxiety, panic attacks, and depression.…
Parent Disciplining Child

Disciplining Stepchildren: 5 Tips for Parents

Whenever I coach stepfamilies – either parents, their children or the family as a whole – there’s one issue that almost always crops up: discipline. How do stepparents avoid being seen as the nasty interloper with ridiculous new rules,…
Stepmum with Stepchildren

How to Be a Good Role Model to Your Stepchildren

There are elements of parenting that stepparents can overlook, perhaps because they feel that they don’t apply to them, and one of these is being a role model. In fact, considering yourself as a role model can be very helpful in creating…
Girl Looking in a Mirror

Coping with Narcissistic Stepchildren

It’s surprising how many stepparents find themselves faced with the challenge of stepchildren who exhibit narcissistic personality traits. Or perhaps - when you consider how narcissism develops – it isn’t surprising at all. The Narcissist:…
Family Laughing

Stepchildren Just Want to Fit In – Part 3

As a stepdad, I found some ways to help my stepchildren feel like they fit into our blended family. Being a stepdad to 3 great kids motivated me to show them that they belong in our family, that I believe in them, and that I want to see…
Family Laughing

Stepchildren Just Want to Fit In – Part 2

As a stepdad, I found some ways to help my stepchildren feel like they fit into our blended family. It was my goal to have my stepchildren feel that they belong to our family, that I believe in them, and that I want to see them become the…
Family Laughing

Stepchildren Just Want to Fit In – Part 1

As a stepdad, I found some ways to help my step kids feel like they fit into our blended family. Becoming a stepdad when my step kids were 8, 10 and 12, made my life way more chaotic than I had ever experienced and at the same time more…
Couple Holding Hands

Missing the Firsts but Saving the Best for Last

I used to be bothered by the fact, that I missed out on all of my husband's firsts. I couldn't be his first wedding, first marriage, first wife; we didn’t buy our first house together, nor have our first babies together. A mindset shift…
Stepmum and Stepdaughter

Being a Stepmom Rocks! The Perks of Stepmotherhood

Stepmoms endure many challenges in their role. They can be deemed as “evil” or “wicked”, but the perks of being a stepmom are something that can’t be forgotten. Being a stepmom rocks in many ways. 1. You Gain Acceptance & Love Creating…
Stepmum with Stepdaughter

The Art of Mothering

Mothering is truly an art. Bio-moms, stepmoms, foster moms, adoptive moms, soon-to-be moms, etc., all engage in the "art of mothering." According to Oxford Dictionaries, a mother can be defined as: To bring up a child with care and affection.To…
Family Reading a Book

The Importance of Structure and Consistency in the Lives of Children

Through my own experience with my stepdaughters, and with many years in the education system, I have learned the value of structure and consistency for children. Learnersdictionary.com defines structure as, “the quality of something…