Functioning Together, not Just During the Holidays

December 15th, 2014

Divorce can be a very confusing situation for everyone involved.  The family has expanded and it is hard to tell how to handle it.  Children may not be aware what the appropriate title is for new stepparents or stepsiblings and it may be hard for them.  It is very appropriate to refer to new extended family members as step “insert title here.”  This is very respectful of everyone’s feelings and allows for biological parents and family members to not feel they are being replaced.  These discussions should take place from the beginning to give children a free and open space to discuss their concerns.  New step grandparents or aunts and uncles may wish to drop the “step,” and in this case families should discuss their preferences before a title is set as to not confuse or offend anyone.

Embracing and building relationships with your expanded family is a very important step in the process for everyone involved.  If the environment is communicative and open, the children will notice and feel freer to love and be accepted by new family members.  This is a two-way street, so even if you are not the first to remarry, reaching across the aisle and accepting new members is a great way to begin the process.  This can help you gain acceptance towards your new partner should you choose to remarry.

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