Kathie Lee & Hoda: How to Parent Stepchildren
Kathie Lee and Hoda have already discussed how to make a marriage last and how to get over a divorce in previous shows this week, so today they covered the topic of blended families. From how to parent stepchildren to the best time to introduce the children to your potential new spouse after a divorce, they had all the information you need. To make sure they talked with the best, Kathie Lee and Hoda invited Gary Neuman, author of The Long Way Home, and psychologist Mark Kelly on the show to discuss how to make a blended family work.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: When To Introduce Children To a New Partner
Kathie Lee wanted to know when it was most appropriate for a divorced person to introduce his or her children to their new partner. Neuman said it is best to wait at least an entire year after the divorce to introduce the children to a new person in your life. The children need time to adjust and you do not want to push your new partner into something they are not ready for.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: How To Parent a Child That Is Not Yours
Disciplining your own children can be hard, but Dr. Kelly said parenting someone else’s children be even more difficult. She said both the parent and the stepparent need to talk about the disciplining of the children. She said she has seen too many times the divorced male lay the burden of parenting on the stepmother when she doesn’t want the responsibility or when the children do not listen to her. Kelly said fathers need to step up to the plate and care for their children alongside the stepmother.
Kathie Lee & Hoda: Respect Your Spouse’s Past
Jada Pinkett-Smith recently left this comment on her Facebook wall:
“Blended families are NEVER easy, but here’s why I don’t have a lot of sympathy for your situation because… we CHOOSE them. When I married Will, I knew Trey was part of the package…Period! If I didn’t want that…I needed to marry someone else. Then I learned if I am going to love Trey…I had to learn to love the most important person in the world to him…his mother. And the two of us may not have always LIKED each other… but we have learned to LOVE each other.”
Neuman said this is something he has not seen before because it is a difficult decision to be nice with the person your spouse fell out of love with. He said she might have taken it further than he would have suggested as well. He tells stepparents they need to respect the past of their spouse and they need to keep the relationship with the biological parents positive.
Before the segment ended, Neuman also added that both parents in the relationship need to make sure a second marriage is right. He said about 61 percent of second marriages actually end in divorce, an even higher percentage than first marriages.