Step-Family Preparation: What is it, anyway? (Part 3)

by Alyssa Johnson - Date: 2006-12-04 - Word Count: 293 Share This!

Step-family preparation is a journey that begins at the time of divorce or death and carries you all the way to the point of remarriage. This journey has 6 main paths that must be walked. The second path is to help your children grieve their losses.

It's important to recognize that while you are having to adjust and make changes, so are your children. You have some say in these changes because you are the adult. Your children, however, are looking to you to know what to do next and to help keep them feeling secure in the midst of this storm.

Your first and foremost job needs to be to honor their emotions. This means let them know there is no wrong feeling. Now this doesn't NOT mean they can act anyway they want. There is a distinct difference. Be prepared for some of their feelings to make you very uncomfortable. Remember, they didn't have a choice in any of the situations they've been put in. They didn't sign up for this. I understand that you may not have either. Your spouse may have left you. The difference is that you are an adult and have resources that your children do not have to help you cope. They are completely dependent upon you.

Is that a hard position for you to be in? Does it sound a little unfair? The answer to both of those is "yes". It is essential that you have supports in place to help you through this difficult transition. Your children, however, should NOT been one of them. Give them the opportunity to be children, not confidantes or pawns in arguments with your ex-spouse. Finding ways for you to connect with good supports is just another piece in this preparation puzzle.

Related Tags: children, divorce, grief, blended family, remarriage, stepfamily

Visit for more information on how to prepare as a couple and a family for remarriage. Subscribe today to the Remarriage Success Tips E-Zine at for more helpful articles to guide you on your step-family preparation journey. Alyssa Johnson, MSW, LCSW is the founder and CEO of Remarriage Success. She may be reached through her website at

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