It's the most daunting task many parents will ever face: bringing two growing families together into one brand new marriage. But even though statistics show that most remarriages are at high risk--especially when there are kids involved--more and more people are learning how to make them work and more and more kids are coming out of them with their psyches and souls intact. This honest and hopeful book looks at those successes--and at some failures--to show what they have in common: ten essential secrets that are at the heart of a healthy blended family.
As a stepparent with six children in a blended family, Barbara LeBey draws on her own family's hard-won success, as well as on extensive interviews and new research to show how to navigate the stresses, sticking points, pitfalls and perils most couples don't even anticipate. Starting with her first controversial secret--that the new marriage comes first, even before the demands of the children--LeBey debunks prevalent stepfamily myths and anticipates common traps. (Among them, money issues, warring stepsiblings, and destructive exes.) A strong advocate for children (including how to guard against fade-out parenting), she also suggests ways that in-laws, schools, and the legal system itself could provide better support for blended families. REmarried with Children is an expert, compassionate, down-to-earth book to turn to over and over again for advice, support and sanity.
Key topics include how to:
-Meet your children's and stepchildren's needs--without letting them undermine your new marriage
-Understand the new roles, new rules, and the new relationships for children and stepchildren of a blended family
-Deal with angry and/or manipulative exes--without adding fuel to the fire
-Handle key decisions about finances, religion, traditions, behavior and discipline
-Maintain healthy relationships with your children's grandparents--and other relatives--from a previous marriage
-Recognize warning signs of trouble ahead--and get the help you need
From the Hardcover edition.