In a modern family, the step parent can play an important role in the life of a child.
Instead of resisting the fact that your ex has moved on with his life and entered into a new relationship, you can choose to try to have some influence on these new developments.
You can do this by not ignoring him or her, but instead building a relationship. Then you can guide the children in building a bond with this stepparent. Think about how complicated it can be for the children if they have questions or problems with father/mother’s new family but cannot discuss them with you because you don’t want to hear about the new partner.
Also, you can take some advantage of the help and everything else this stepparent has to offer. It takes a village to raise a child. So why couldn’t this stepparent also play a role and contribute?
That does not detract from the fact that it can be hugely complicated at times. The more people get involved, the more different interpretations, backgrounds, norms and values come into play. And the faster a misunderstanding or dispute arises. It is worth investing in finding solutions and finding mutual appreciation and understanding.
Mediation can be usefull to:
- agree on when new partners can be introduced to the children
- discuss the role of the steph parent(s)
- allow your ex to get to know your new partner in the safe setting of mediation
- talk about parenting, shared values and family traditions
- to solve any misunderstanding or conflict
- to talk about the practical problems that can arise when a child grows up in two homes and two families.
Mediation can be helpfull when you want to write a parenting plan together, or when one of the parents is about to start a legal procedure. If you want coaching or counseling for a longer period, or to discuss the day to day issues regarding your blended family, you can find several options online, for instance: The blended and step family resource center.