Remarriage, elderly, step parenting guide from marriage management expert

Marriage management expert says by the time a married person reaches his seventies or eighties, he normally has a large extended family. This will be comprised of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and their respective spouses and in-laws. When an elderly person’s partner dies and the surviving partner remarries, the effective size of the family can double. This can lead to complications and decisions about everything from birthday parties and Christmas to provisions in wills.

Remarriage, elderly, step parenting

Practical Help for Dealing With Reminders of Previous Partners

Marriage management expert adds that when she enters an elderly couple’s family home, there is normally a strong presence of family photos and mementos on display. When remarrying, this is an area that will need to be discussed. Will the new spouse be happy to have photos of the deceased spouse on display? Can a wall be devoted to photos from both families? Taking this a step further, will a new spouse be willing to live in a house that his or her predecessor lived in for several decades?

A Second Marriage Can Offer new Opportunities and Growth

Every relationship is unique and a new marriage can offer much to elderly people, says further marriage management expert. Remarriage, elderly, step parenting guide from marriage management expert

By the time a married person reaches his seventies or eighties, he normally has a large extended family. This will be comprised of children, grandchildren and great grandchildren and their respective spouses and in-laws. When an elderly person’s partner dies and the surviving partner remarries, the effective size of the family can double. This can lead to complications and decisions about everything from birthday parties and Christmas to provisions in wills.

Practical Help for Dealing With Reminders of Previous Partners

Remarriage management expert

Marriage management expert says that when she enters an elderly couple’s family home, there is normally a strong presence of family photos and mementos on display. When remarrying, this is an area that will need to be discussed. Will the new spouse be happy to have photos of the deceased spouse on display? Can a wall be devoted to photos from both families? Taking this a step further, will a new spouse be willing to live in a house that his or her predecessor lived in for several decades?

A Second Marriage Can Offer new Opportunities and Growth

Every relationship is unique and a new marriage can offer much to elderly people. While it may not be infused with intense romantic attraction, years of experience can allow a new couple to find contentment, friendship and love. If both partners are willing to move on and help each other through grief and pain, their relationship can be extremely fulfilling.

Keep Communication Channels Open when Remarrying

Communication is the life of any relationship. It is essential to actively work on this area when elderly people remarry and have to adjust to each other’s lifestyles. After previous marriages, most people are set in their ways and have routines for eating, bathing, shopping and watching television.

Communication and compromise are the keys to creating a harmonious new life together. Sometimes it works to abandon previous routines and create new ones together.

step parenting guide

Due to advances in health care and medical knowledge, people are living longer today than they were a few decades ago. This means that there are more marriages between elderly people than in years-gone-by. With understanding and communication, these relationships can blossom and be a blessing to both husband and wife.

A Stepmother’s Role and Child Discipline – Step Parenting Rights

What is a stepmother’s role when it comes to raising and disciplining her stepchildren? She has the right, as a step parent, to enforce her husband’s rules when he is not home.

Common Problems in Stepfamilies

When a new couple gets married, and there are children from past relationships, parents hope that everyone in the blended family will get along. However, marriage management expert warns, a stepmother should be aware that there will be problems concerning child discipline. She should expect this to happen. And, it’s normal because no two families raise their children in exactly the same way.

It is also common for a stepchild to react to a new stepmother by saying something like, “You are not my mother and you can’t tell me what to do.” Well, it’s true. A stepmother is different from a biological mom.

Divorce and Remarriage

Divorced parents hope that their new marriages will somehow replicate the perfect nuclear family of their imaginations. Furthermore, most single parents hope that their new marriage will make things easier for them because there will be two adults to share in the heavy load of raising and disciplining children.

Below are some important things to remember according to marriage management expert:

Divided Loyalty: Most children do not want to love a new stepmother because they feel that it would be disloyal to their biological mother.

Resentment of Different Rules: Children will not be happy about having different sets of rules for each house, though they will learn to adapt. It is easier on everyone if the “house rules” are somewhat similar.

Common Issues for Stepmothers

Most stepmothers want their stepchildren to feel love, trust, and respect for them right away. However, these feelings take time to develop. A child’s biological mom has had years to build up a nurturing relationship with her child, but a stepmom can’t step into this role right away.

Children are more likely to accept guidance and discipline from someone they trust.

Positive Relationship With Stepchild

According to Jocelyn R. Miller PhD in her 2008 article “The Road to Successful Step-Parenting” on deancare.com, “Many step-parents make the mistake of over-emphasizing discipline when they first join a family, without working on the caring relationship or bonding with the child/ren. The nurturance aspect of parenting is the very important basis upon which the right to discipline is built.”

Miller believes that stepmoms should focus on the positive aspects of the stepchild. If a child is having problems at school or home, a smart stepmother will look for things that the child is good at, such as:

Sports
The arts – painting, writing, drawing
Dance
A love of science fiction

If a stepmother concentrates on discipline too soon, her stepchildren will resent her and may rebel against their dad’s authority, as well.

Re-Marriage Advice

Here are other tips from Miller:

Make sure that the father has time alone with each of his children. This is an investment in the future happiness of a new marriage.
Remember that the children probably did not want this new marriage, but had no real say in the matter.

Remarriage and Children

In another article “Parenting in Stepfamilies” on extension.iastate.edu published in 1996, Virginia Molgaard offers these guidelines for step families:

Let the biological parent enforce most of the discipline with his or her own child, especially in the beginning of the marriage.
Discuss rules and consequences with the other parent, even though the bio parent will be enforcing these rules.

What to Tell the Kids

A step parent is in charge, taking on the role and having the rights of a “babysitter”, when the biological parent is gone.

A dad should tell his children, “I’ve asked (stepmother’s name) to take over while I’m away.” This teaches kids that their stepmom is simply carrying out what their father has asked her to do. If possible, a stepmom should wait until their dad can discipline the child, but this is not always realistic.

Every stepmom goes through similar trials with her stepchildren. If things do not improve over time, look for a family therapist or a stepmother support group.

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