My former baby: parenting after divorce

We asked psychologist Catherine Homowo and family therapist Peter Demetrius about the tactics, and communication strategies with a new mother, new dad, new siblings, and new babies.

In Russia, the divorce and subsequent remarriage have become the norm. There are more so-called mixed families of native and non-native children with native and non-native parents, and the parents coming.

After the rupture of all family members experiencing a shock, but most of all the stress impact on a child's life. He feels lost, he's scared, he's frustrated, in addition to this, older children blame the parents ' divorce itself.

How to help your child

In this period of life the child perceives everything in black and does not believe in a favorable outcome. How can you help? The best thing you can do for him is to talk about his attitude to the incident, about the feelings he is experiencing, what changes are in store for the family. Child it is important to know that parents will stay with them even if they're not together anymore, that he is not the reason for the divorce that he will not curse, even if he is not prepared to accept a new partner mom or dad.

If changes are there in your family had any traditions or customs, it is important to try to save them (if on the weekends the three of us walked, continue to do so for the sake of the child, this short period of time together will be a Bastion of reliability and at least a little, but support).

In General, at this time should be predictable as ever (in advance to tell the child everything that will happen). If he misbehaves, remember that this is nothing more than a call, a request for assistance that cannot yet communicate differently because of their age. Don't forget, humor is a lifesaver in the most hopeless, it would seem, situations.

How to organize life in a new way

No matter how terrible the circumstances under which the parted husband and wife, it is important not to prohibit the child see the other parent. If mom and dad are not able to agree on issues of child rearing, most likely, the baby can not become a harmonious person, to build strong family in the future.

Many mothers in the heat of anger forget that the child must be a child: no matter what happens, the problems of adults (your resentment and hatred) – stories are not for children's ears.

If the child is leaving for the weekend, don't manipulate his feelings: blame him for what he loves dad, to say that you will suffer while he is home. Don't set your son or daughter to illegal actions of the house of the other parent, to annoy or to spoil that relationship. Do not use the child as an informant, forcing him to rush between two fires, wanting to serve and dad, and mom.

If the meeting is canceled for any reason (adult could not or the child is ill), it must as soon as possible to know everyone involved. Don't punish the kid or ex-spouse the revised schedule of meetings – it creates a feeling of uncertainty and General instability of the situation.

How to be a mom entering the new Union

In the first months of life together in a new marriage to the mother goes very difficult role: she must find the opportunity to pay attention to the child and husband to smooth over disputes, to play the role of a diplomat, to help new to each other people to create new family traditions.

"Convergence is the new darling of children a woman needs to organize gradually, with respect and patience referring to the pace that suits the child. First you need to arrange, for example, joint departure on the nature. Only after several such trips can be discussed about moving under one roof," emphasizes Peter Dmitrievsky.

The hierarchical ladder in a family headed by an adult that is you. Child important rules and regulations, and, if possible, happy life and, as much as we can, calm mom. So in a spare minute, take care of yourself and give yourself time.

If you have a new friend, make sure that children do not feel abandoned. They already "lost" one parent (the father) and now they are scared to "lose" the second.

The man, in turn, it is important not to intervene in the conflict between mother and child, the disagreement will only escalate, but in the personal communication is to give moral support to his wife.

Contribute to the rapprochement will be no need to call her stepfather "dad" (better named). Remember that it is impossible to demand from the child of tenderness and love towards the new family member. But the mother has the right to insist on compliance with basic norms of civility at home, that is, to make demands on external forms of expression of feelings.

How to be a stepfather

American Catholic theologian Theodore Hesburgh a century ago spoke of the wise thought: "the Best thing a man can do for a child is to love its mother."

Peter Demetrius notes: "the task of the mother gradually become the child's older friend, and this requires long and laborious work. The less in a child's life involved a father, the more the stepfather is responsible to develop the child confidence in their abilities".

His mother's new husband will never be his own father, but can be an educator, mentor and maybe even a parent in the psychological sense of the word. Sooner or later the child recognizes the stepfather, if he be patient and not to hurry.

The new husband of the mother need not be included in the process of education, and especially to take on the role of Cerberus – if there is no trust, the child will perceive any educational measures hostility.

There is another extreme:"I'm good, I'm possible." Children it is extremely important that adults comply with a certain order, schedule, routine. This gives the child confidence in the strength and stability of the world, reduces anxiety.

If dad's new wife

Familiarizing the child with his new wife's father – a moment of stress, but it is better with this not to delay. In most cases, the cause of the problems between the child and stepmother – the eternal question of power. Often the second wife seeks to gain power over her husband, and somehow the power of this starts to take away from the child. Of course, not every stepmom is struggling with the child for power and for the love of a man and father.

In this scenario, the woman not afraid to lose its significance and therefore is not the need for constant validation – she does not need to be the evil stepmother.

Another common mistake is to imagine a small child a stepmother as a "new" mother in case mother is "old", for example, left, preferring another man. Sooner or later she'll find a substitute and to assume that this woman not only lied to him, but also slighted. Optimal not to hide from the truth, but to emphasize that, "this mom's not home."

Don't have a child – so I was sure that dad and him will be better, it is better to protect that child from thinking that he mother was not needed.

You shouldn't use the words "native" and "nonnative" – the second is clearly negative, and the child will feel it. We can say that one mother gave birth to him and the other raised.

How to be a stepmother

Do not blame yourself or the child, if the beginning of a relationship went wrong. The main rule is to be sincere, because children always feel falseness in relations. Very often the new wife is starting to curry favour with the children of the partner. This is the perfect way to become a victim, because children who feel insecure adult, you begin to manipulate him.

It is important to sit down together to discuss the basic rules of your family (if the child lives with you, or, for example, arrives on a weekend) is a daily routine, norms, household duties, etc. If this conversation never happened or you did not manage to reach consensus, if not impossible, to require the child to perform certain rules. Remember that discipline is responsible father and step-mother starts their comments with, "your dad and I decided that...".

It is important to remember that not badly behaved child, his actions dictated by the suffering about the loss of a parent. So take your time, trust will come with time.

Half-brothers and sisters

Half-brothers and sisters often get along with each other. The feeling of rivalry and competition between them is quite natural. The "invasion" of the family of other children (stepbrothers and sisters) turns the old world upside down, causing a feeling of jealousy and resentment. The task for adults at this time is to accept the emotions of the child (i.e., do not prohibit to show them) and to create a favorable emotional atmosphere in the family.

Don't forget about the humor, as well as family psychotherapy. Very soon the process stabiliziruemost, and all members of the family gradually begins to adapt to change.

What you need to do and what not to do

  • If you're on a date with your child and go over their house, do not try to "show off" in front of the old partner a new.

  • The kid shouldn't have to say that your new marriage was only for the sake of his dad was.


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  • Housework should be distributed among all members of the family: the feasible help in preparation of food and maintaining order will bring newfound family members.

  • Children's expectations with which the child crosses the threshold of your home needs to be specified. Predetermined rules and their strict adherence to giving the child a feeling of reliability, stability and security. published




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