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Smart Stepfamilies

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Ex-Spouses, Co-Parenting, & Multiple Home Realities

Common Steps for Co-Parents

This 50-page e-booklet (PDF file) outlines the key qualities of healthy co-parent relationships.  It includes instructions on how to share the booklet with the other household.
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10 Respectful Strategies to Use with an Unhealthy Co-Parent

...some stepfamilies, like ours, have to deal with twists like this on the co-parenting task. As such, David and I have followed an alternative co-parenting path for our stepfamily. Here are 10 strategies that help us manage the challenges of co-parenting with unhealthy people.
Dealing with a Difficult Ex-Spouse

Dealing with a difficult ex-spouse can be very discouraging and defeating.  Yet, we are called to continue trying to pursue good, to “turn the other cheek”, and “walk the extra mile.”  Hopefully the following tips can aid you in your efforts to cope—because it’s all about the children.
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From Eggshells to Empathy

What do you do to change how you feel about your stepkids?  How do you keep from actually becoming that dreaded malevolent being?  Here are a few power points to take you from eggshells to empathy...
Facing the Authorities: What Happens When an Officer Knocks on Your Door?

If you are falsely accused of abuse and authorities arrive on your doorstep, be prepared. Here are some suggestions to help...
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Every Other Weekend and Noon on Christmas: Adjusting to Part-Time Parenting

No one wants to give up time with his or her precious children, but the majority of divorced parents do.  Sometimes we miss out on celebrating birthdays, playing Santa Claus on Christmas Eve, and exchanging teeth for money under pillows as the Tooth Fairy.  It means that we often have little or no idea what our children are experiencing during the times they are visiting the other parent’s home. 
Seven Beattitudes for Successful Co-Parenting

Imagine being a child of divorce, needing stability, needing to feel loved, supported, and protected by both parents, yet one or both perpetuate the tug-of-war they started when the family was together.  But now, it’s worse....There is another way.

Keeping Your Cool in the Heat of Summer Visitation Planning

April 15th is fast approaching, and so is the deadline for many stepfamilies to announce their summer visitation and vacation plans to the “other” household.  While the task may not be easy or pleasant, there are a few basic biblical rules of conduct that should always govern your actions and your decisions...

Preparing for the Holidays

...I realize now that it was not my responsibility to “make” my parents happy or to “plan ahead” for them to enjoy the holidays. Children should not carry those burdens.  The intentional efforts needed around complicated holidays are completely the responsibility of the adults. 
Photos & Memorabilia

With less than a month until Christmas, I want to encourage you to give your children a “gift” that will be more meaningful than anything expensive and trendy.  Consider giving the gift of positive memories...
The "I" Factor

When a child hears words about their other parent that are negative, it sears the soul deeply and hurts in a way human words almost cannot express. What may seem like half hearted slander to an adult is heard and felt by a child like a knife to the heart...
Parent Forward

...The quarterback does not throw the ball to the spot the receiver is “at” when he releases the ball, but to where he is “GOING” - - coparenting is much the same!  We make choices, as coparents, that are based on where our children are headed and how we want them to be as adults, not always based on the moment or the circumstances immediately in front of us.
A Gracious Thing… in the Sight of God!

...These scriptures jump out at me in light of the struggle that can be experienced when raising children between two homes. Coparenting is an absolute act of sacrifice that thinks first, “What is best for my child?” instead of “What is best for me?
“Business Meeting Mentality” for the Sake of the Children

In co-parenting relationships that include biological parents and step parents it is ideal to have a “business meeting mentality” when addressing issues related to the shared children. It is even more ideal to have a plan before attempting to address those issues.
“CoGrandparenting!” for the Sake of the Children

"What?! I only have toddlers or junior high children – I have not even thought about being a grandparent! That is so far in the distance…”  For most that is probably true; but keep reading! I want to give you something to shoot for...
Cheerlead the Other Parent!

Making positive statements to your child about the other parent and other home is life-giving to children.  Even if it's hard for you, it's great for the kids.
Tis the Season to Share the Children

Learn some valuable attitudes for helping your children survive the holidays as well as the value of pre-planning your emotions and time.
Parenting After Divorce

This 50-page e-booklet (PDF file) outlines the key qualities of healthy co-parent relationships.  It includes instructions on how to share the booklet with the other household.
Cooperative Co-Parenting

What is the goal of co-parenting? What practical steps can you take to improve the between-home environment for your children?
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6-week Summer Sleepover!

Managing an extended summer visitation is important for moms, dads, and kids!
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