Handling friction between step parents and birth parents

Everyone hopes for the best situation when divorced parents remarry - that the new step parents and existing parents of children will all be able to get along and agree on some basic parenting guidelines. But what happens when it seems like some of the communication is getting skewed midway - maybe even through the kids? How do you ensure that everyone - step parents, children, and birth parents - are all on the same page, and happily working toward the same outcomes together?

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I used to be a divorce mediator, and once both biological parents do away with most of the resentment, hurt and anger and focus on the common goal of raising and supporting their children, then respect comes into play. I think the step parent should not intervene unless the two parents are acting uncivilized and being disrespectful toward one another. Remember the goal is the raise children without transferring anger and pain.

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I couldn't agree with you more. I know from first-hand experience. My ex-husband still has resentment towards me for divorcing him 7 years ago, and still battles with me on a daily basis regarding one thing or another about the kids. Although both kids are teenagers, he even STILL complains about "you still have the ($5 Target) shorts I bought." kind of stuff. Even with all that, he remarried right away (I guess to show me that he "won") and my kids have absolutely no relationship with her at all. In fact, she's NEVER ONCE had a conversation with my kids in the 5 years she's known them, even though she shares a house with them every other weekend and one weekend night every week. I would even say one additional thing....with a step back...to women. DO NOT GET INVOLVED with a man who still has serious issues with his ex and his kids. Your life is never going to be easy, especially if you do want a relationship with the children. If the guy has a bad relationship with the children and the ex, you are almost guaranteed to have no relationship with the kids either. Plus, if he has a bad relationship with his ex-wife AND CHILDREN, do you really think he's going to have a good relationship with you and/or your children? That's one of the reasons why the divorce rate for second marriages is higher than the divorce rate for first marriages. People don't resolve their stuff before adding more baggage onto their lives.

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