Blending Families Successfully: Helping Parents and Kids Navigate the Challenges So That Everyone Ends Up Happy

Blending Families Successfully: Helping Parents and Kids Navigate the Challenges So That Everyone Ends Up Happy

by George S. Glass, David Tabatsky


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According to the National Center for Health Statistics, less than half of the people who get married in the United States remain with their first spouse, and less than 50 percent of children grow up with both biological parents. In short, we live in a society of blended families. Everyone who survives a divorce and enters a new family is vulnerable.

George Glass, MD, a board-certified psychiatrist, has designed a book to help parents understand the challenges of beginning new lives with blended families, and to help their children make the necessary adjustments. He explains how to approach unavoidable dilemmas when they occur and offers invaluable lessons about the link between divorce and issues of self-esteem, depression, substance abuse, and relationship failures that often result from the breakup of a family.

Gathered from his years in practice and his own personal experience as a member of a blended family, Glass provides practical solutions to everyday problems. Blending a family, Glass explains, is a process, which requires patience. It can take a long time to develop trust, acceptance, and a willingness to overlook transgressions that in the beginning can cause tension. Each chapter offers specific advice to help blended family members improve their communication skills and ease the transitions from separate households into a larger, combined community. Taken together with a steady dose of “Dos and Don’ts,” this book provides an inspiring toolkit for families in need.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781629144313
Publisher: Skyhorse
Publication date: 10/21/2014
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 649,831
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

Dr. George Glass is a board-certified psychiatrist and nationally known addiction specialist. His professional history includes degrees from Swarthmore, Northwestern, and Yale, and professorships at Baylor and Weill Cornell. He is a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and has served as an expert consultant for the Oxygen and Jupiter networks, the Wall Street Journal, and the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Lessons My Family Taught Me 1

Part 1 Transitions

Chapter 1 How Did I Get Here? 13

Coping with the Fallout of a Divorce 15

The Blame Game: Accepting Failure 18

Defining Success and Moving Forward 23

Chapter 2 Starting Over 27

Dating vs. Parenting 29

Prioritize Your Children 31

The Tortoise vs. the Hare: Finding the Right Pace 33

Chapter 3 Boundaries: Define and Respect 37

How Many Parents Does One Child Need? 38

Redefining Parent-Child Relationships 41

Life and Sex Before Tying the Knot-Again 42

Part 2 Joining Families: What to Expect When You Remarry

Chapter 4 Married With Children: Your Real-Life Version 51

Keeping Your Kids in the Loop 52

Planning the Wedding 56

Coping with Resistance and Easing Anxieties 59

Chapter 5 Communicating with Your Ex 61

To Invite or Not to Invite 61

He/She Is Your Children's Other Parent 62

Respecting History 62

Chapter 6 What's a Honeymoon the Second Time Around? 65

The Ceremony's Over: Now What? 65

Planning the Next Steps 67

What to Do When Not Everyone Wants To Celebrate 67

Part 3 Growing Pains

Chapter 7 Rules to Live By 73

Embracing Diversity Under the Same Roof 74

Meeting Your New Stepchildren on Their Side of the Middle 77

Democracy in Action: Blending Multiple Structures Under One Roof 79

Chapter 8 Who's Zooming Who? 87

Splitting: When Kids Pit Parents Against Each Other 88

Redefining Discipline 90

Role Modeling 91

Chapter 9 Growing Pains 95

You've Married a Family 95

Expanding Your Vows 98

Inclusion vs. Intrusion 100

Part 4 Becoming the Best Stepparent You Can Be

Chapter 10 Whose Side Are You On? 107

Redefining Parental Responsibility 108

When Your Spouse's Children Come First 110

Becoming a Friend and Mentor 113

Chapter 11 Managing Relationships 117

Building Trust One Day at a Time 119

More Boundaries, Less Conflict 121

Taking Sides While Supporting Everyone 122

Chapter 12 We're Having a Baby! 125

The Decision 126

Preparing a New Set of Siblings 128

Bonding vs. Babysitting 130

Part 5 Yours, Mine, and Ours: Troubleshooting for the Future

Chapter 13 From Church to Checkbook 139

Blending Holidays, Cultures, and Traditions 140

Past, Present, and Future 144

Going Dutch in the Twenty-First Century 146

Chapter 14 Bigger and Better 151

Letting Go: Recognizing Limits with Your Children 152

Dealing with Your Ex-Spouse 154

Welcoming Visiting or Absent Children into the Family 160

Chapter 15 Lessons Learned 163

A Note of Hope 167

Dear George 168

The Perfect Default 169

Acknowledgments 171

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