Your Family
Meet The Step Parent Image Credit: Your Family
Meet The Step Parent Image Credit: Your Family

Meet The (Step) Parent

Maintaining an amicable relationship with your former spouse can be tricky when there are children involved. It can become even more complicated if they have a new partner in their lives.

Nolwazi Dhlamini

Now that there’s a new person in the picture who might become a step-parent to your children, everyone involved needs to find a way to make it work. While you and your ex’s new partner don’t have to become friends, it’s advisable to form a good-natured relationship for the sake of the children, advises Karen Moross, a therapist dealing with divorce, family mediation and counselling. ‘Parenting children through separation, divorce and post-divorce is stressful and can have a long-term effect on their own relationships, how they perceive themselves, and their world view. Take your time when introducing your new partner to your kids. It can be a series of frank conversations, but they also need to be sensitive conversations,’ Karen explains.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO BE CIVIL

Forming civil relations with the new partner is less about the adults and more about the children. Whether you like it or not, when you have children you and your former spouse have no choice but to communicate regularly and effectively. That being said, ‘You do not have to like their new partner,’ adds Karen. ‘If the kids are benefitting from the new relationship and there’s a caring and stable environment, it’s a lot healthier to go with the flow and make the transition simpler for you and your family. This promotes good communication,’ she says.

MAKE THINGS CLEAR


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