Blended Family

Blending families is hard. Stepmoms and stepdads are learning new roles and children are trying to adjust. These articles will encourage you during this transition and help blended families at every stage.

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Dealing with Blended Families and Different Household Rules

‘A Mom Trying to Figure It Out’ Asked: Blended Family Rules I seem to have a mess of questions lately. Most all revolve around my blended family where children are raised in two households. I would like to know how to thrive not only survive (surviving seems to be the best I can do some days). One of many questions I have is how to handle the things a stepchild (age 9) brings into my home that I am not comfortable with or how I am parenting my biological child (age 3). Specifically, things like violent video games allowed for the stepchild that I don’t allow for my own. I know that as they grow older, there will only be more instances […]

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

How to Thrive as a Blended Family With Dr. Zoe Shaw – 131

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More Families are together a LOT these days, and this can be challenging! But blended families? They are facing unique struggles. With this in mind, we invited licensed therapist and relationship expert, Dr. Zoe Shaw, back to share some practical success strategies for blending families. Even if this isn’t your family dynamic, these are insights we all can use, especially now. Co-hosts Darlene Brock and Julie Graham ask a lot of questions but do even more listening as Dr. Zoe discusses jealousy, healthy boundaries, comparison, and house rules. Listen in and share these helpful tips with another grit and grace mama today!

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Teen Stepdaughter Doesn’t Respect Me

‘Pawan’ Asked: Hi Dr. Zoe I am having trouble with connecting with my 12yr old step daughter. I have 3 step kids. I don’t have any kids of my own. Me and my husband are full time custodians and they see their mom every other weekend. I don’t see we her respecting me. I feel like she hates me and only like to respect me when her dad says her to do so. My husband is a very wise parent. I am lucky that I have him in this situation. He talks to the kids about problem and set expectations as well as talking to them thru the problems. Please suggest me what and how to do my role. My ego gets

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Stuck in a Love Triangle: My Man, His Ex and His Child

‘Toxic Triangle’ Asked: I often feel like my partner is not giving me my place in this toxic triangle of a relationship. I love him very much. I feel like he’s put up with his ex (mother of his children) for so long that he’s become accustomed to her BS and in return, I feel I don’t get the respect I need and the boundaries I set keep getting crossed. She is constantly dangling his daughter in from of him like a piece of meat to get her way all the time because she knows he will always take the bait. It’s frustrating for me to see this happening and when she disrespects me I don’t feel he backs me up. What

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Dating With Daddy Issues, What Are the Pitfalls?

‘NotDaddysGirl’ Asked: I grew up never knowing my biological dad and over the last few years, I’ve started to let myself feel the hurt and sadness that it caused me. I am now a single mom dating again and I want to be aware of the pitfalls that this absence might cause to make sure I make a healthy choice in a future partner/father for my child. Dr. Zoe Answered: The best gift we can give ourselves is to know our deficits well. The fact that you are aware of the effect that your absent father can have on your parenting puts you a step ahead. Women who have grown up with absent fathers often make the mistake of being impressed by

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Ask Dr. Zoe – Handling a Step Child’s Jealousy

‘Stepmom Wanting to Do the Best for Her Crew’ Asked: I find, like most siblings, that in a family that has children from two households, there is a love-hate between them. However, I have noticed jealousy in the child that is not with us full time. I am sympathetic to the situation and love him but do not want to accept bad behavior just because the circumstance is challenging. Nor do I want that behavior to impact my biological child. Do you have any thoughts or ideas to approach these conversations or actions I can take to curb bad behavior while offering understanding? I want to act before it becomes a more significant issue. Stepmom Wanting to Do the Best for Her

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You, Your Man, and His Baby Mama All Need Grit and Grace

So your man is a pretty wonderful guy. Things are going so well. You might have even married him. What in the world could mess this up? Oh, the mother of his kids! Baby mama drama began with the start of civilization—think Abraham from the Bible. Sparks were going off between Sarah (his wife) and Hagar (baby mama). Abraham couldn’t deal with the drama and finally shipped Hagar off with their child—never to be seen again. Even if that is your fantasy, it isn’t going to happen—nor should it. The modern reality is that almost half (46%) of marriages involve a step-parent situation.1 When your relationship first started, dreams of the Brady Bunch may have been circling in your head. But reality

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Ask Dr. Zoe – My Husband Is a Strict Stepfather

‘Stuck in the Middle’ Asked: I have four children from a previous marriage and I recently got married to a wonderful man with no children. He’s very strict with my kids. They liked him at first, but now that we’re married and have been living together for 4 months, they don’t like him anymore and there is a lot of conflicts. We argue mostly about kid stuff. His controlling behavior comes from a good heart and he just wants to take over the father role with my kids. He has very clear ideas about how the kids should behave and how they should dress. He’s very big on respect. I’m feeling very torn between my children and my husband. Where do I

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

Grit and Grace for All the Other Women in Your Man’s Life – 068

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | More Your man has a lot of other women in his life who require attention and often demand his interaction. It could be his mom, coworkers, a daughter, an ex, friends, or a baby mama to name a few. If this relationship requires his attention, it might need yours too! Because we love our men, we want great relationships with them, but it’s impractical (and unhealthy!) to try to keep them all to ourselves. So, can you find the grit and grace to give him space to have healthy relationships with these women? Darlene and Julie share how to navigate all the

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This Grit and Grace Life Podcast

A Therapist’s Practical Advice for Blended Families with Dr. Zoe Shaw – 050

Subscribe: Apple Podcasts | Google Podcasts | Spotify | Amazon Music | Android | Email | TuneIn | RSS | MoreSince nearly 50% of new marriages are remarriages, it should come as no surprise that many women are blending families. It doesn’t take long after making those marriage vows to discover combining families can be complicated. It can also be beautiful. How? We brought in our most reliable expert, psychotherapist, and relationship counselor, Dr. Zoe, to share a balanced and a realistic view of how to blend these separate families into one unit with equal parts grit and grace. Darlene (married mom of two adult daughters) and Julie (widowed single mom) ask the often searched for questions that are frequently found at

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My Really Different Kind of Family

My Really Different Kind of Family

My new husband, my new baby, and my son from my first marriage just got back from visiting my dead husband’s parents on our vacation. Did you get all of that? Yeah, that’s a lot to take in so let me back up a bit. Six years and two months ago, my beautiful, gregarious, hilarious husband, Spencer, literally died in my arms. He was 34 years old, seemingly healthy and in shape, and there were absolutely no warning signs. He had an enlarged heart, and we had no idea. His entire family was visiting us in Florida from Minnesota for Mother’s Day. I was five and a half months pregnant with our first child. We were staying at the Hyatt Regency hotel with his

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This Life Coach Shares How to Blend a Family

Ah yes, even now it pains me a little. The famed Norman Rockwell painting, which has been called by many names. For me it has always represented one thing. The Perfect Family. How I tried and tried with all my might to paint our family into this photo. I could feel the yearning to see our happy faces laughing and sharing a table and a beautiful life together along with grandparents, siblings, and close friends. Selfishness is at the bedrock of human nature and my resulting divorce had thrashed ugly lines in my longed-for painting that forever prevented us from sharing that family table together. But wait! All is not lost! Blended families offer incredible opportunities for self-discovery, growth, and new beginnings. Let’s

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