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Can anyone suggest a secular resource for a divorced father before remarrying?


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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Dec 30, 2010 8:50:01 AM PST
Tara says:
We are having an issue with the role and responsibilities of the step-partent without kids in our new family dynamic. I've found lots of books that have a god-based perspective, but are looking for some resources that are not religious. Any suggestions?

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2010 7:17:14 PM PST
Rube says:
Tara, please don't confuse me as being evangelistic, but I do find it curious that you'd be particular about the source of assistance, especially in the incidence of a new and blended family.
That is my unsolicited opinion and, as I am sure you know, the WORLD revolves around my opinion. :)
Having said that, upon entering the same approximate situation over eighteen years ago, I too found a disappointing amount of resources directly addressing step-families at a level that I desired.
My own quest was resolved by looking into other, but comparable, disciplines, such as management, (Peter Drucker), and mens' recovery literature, as each of them speak to a man's tendency to accept change in a particular way, (and each of you will need to PERSONALLY change in quite a few dimensions), and childrens' needs for loving and consistent and sincere direction,(ergo, Drucker's management philosophy).
Children need a father, and a stepfather can be the "real" thing, given the guidance and reassurance you are wisely seeking.
I might also suggest, "Ten Ways to Ruin Your Child's Imagination".
Fairly new, but an insightful and considered philosophy.
(Towards the end, the author DOES mention, "you-know-who",
but what the hell...it's a GOOD READ.)
I wish all of you luck...It will be worth it, you'll find.

:) Rube

Posted on Dec 31, 2010 10:36:11 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 31, 2010 10:36:32 AM PST
medialint says:
Talk to the children and get their feelings and opinions. There's your best resource (assuming they're old enough, which doesn't really have to be very old at all.)

If the other parent is still active and involved in the children's lives they are the true parent, the remarried parent's spouse probably should not be given the honorary "mom/dad" address, I think a first name is more appropriate.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 6, 2012 12:01:18 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Feb 5, 2012 10:57:11 AM PST
kiwani says:
Virginia Satir's "The New Peoplemaking" [can be found on Amazon/used for a very low price]. Absolutely exceptional book... Virginia Satir is [was/she died in 1988 @ top of her field] a renowned internationally known & well-regarded psychologist & Family Therapist... she has written several books, even made some videos, & collaborated with many of the most well-known psychologists of our time...

...in "The New Peoplemaking" she covers a whole range of topics including about step-families, family communication, discipline, roles & role expectations/responsibilities, family dynamics, and more...there are even some small experiential exercises that individuals, couples, and families can pick & choose to do [some, or not at all, or 1-2]...although many of them are very helpful and enlightening, especially if one is trying to figure out where they stand on issues and how to parent or build relationships...

~pretty sure you will find many helpful passages/ideas there...

Posted on Jan 12, 2012 9:34:11 AM PST
P. J. Rowan says:
This is an old post and I just stumbled on it. Hopefully, Tara, my comments might help.

I have been in this position, and have examined it well, including with inspiration from 1 Tim 4:8. But if you hate Christians, I understand - that has been a major emphasis from the Frankfurt School and the rest of the cultural Marxists for decades. You don't know this because it is taboo in our culture to admit when we are marxist. NPR and Democracy Now have strict rules about this.

Along with becoming step-dad for a child from about 12yo to adulthood, I have a lot of work experience with "emotioanlly disturbed" children and their families, and ended up becoming a clinical psychologist with family systems therapy training. I second the Satir suggestions.

My main, central belief nowadays is this: the step-father needs to be in the household father role, and it is largely through the mom's whole-hearted adoption of this belief that the step-father is allowed to fulfill the father role.

Usually, fathers are more disciplinarian and moms are more lenient and emotional. Fine.

This is a set-up to have step-dad get identified as the bad guy. The mom's role/job is this: recognize that children require both affection/love/quality time AND good, consistent discipline; recognize that the stepdad will more easily "see" and carry out discipline than mom will; mom then needs to adopt the discipline view, and help carry it out, and at least fully support the stepdad in this.

The couple also needs to agree and deliverately build relationship-building stuff in for the stepdad and children. Playing board games, going for ice cream, bicycling, etc. For men, these things go easier if they are structured activities like board games. Often, we men do not grasp "gossip time" and we often just don't call each other on the phone to say we saw something and it reminded us of some friend or family and we just wanted to call to hear that person's voice - phones are not for that kind of stuff, to many guys.

What worked a lot in my home: I would perceive a need for rules, punishments, lectures, etc. Then, I would ask my wife to discuss the issue behind closed doors. THen, I would have my wife deliver the consequence or rules or whatever.

When unwilling to join in as a normal family and normal parents, I had to go it alone. Grounding, teacher conferences, taking the cell phone, etc. Unilateral decisions.

When both my wife and stepdaughter figured out I was taking the father role, everyone started working together.

The husband and wife cannot have a good relationship until the parenting is pretty good and the home is running fairly well.

As mom, I am sorry to say, your allegiance has been commited to your husband, and your child will eventually grow up and leave the nest.

This is the reality for step-families but also for mom-dad-biological kid families: your kids will leav the nest; how well they do depends on how well you strive to raise adults, versus raise children. Their are a lot of children out there in their 20s because their parents raised them as children, not adults.

If you "pick" your daughter over your husband, you won't have peace, and you will end up divorced. You will kick out the man you have put in an impossible situation, making him look bad, or he will figure out he is a just a paycheck to support a mother-children family unit, and he will get himself out of that lousy deal.

There is a place to be sympathetic to the kids who don't have bio dad at hoem, for whatever reason. Regardless, someone has to fulfill the parent role of raising adults. What that means is you cannot go "easy" on kids because bio-dad is not under the roof.

In my view, a stepdad should never use physicality on stepkids, short of yanking a kid out of an oncoming bus in traffic or holding down a 3-year-old to get a quarter out of the windpipe. If a spanking is needed, mom and stepdad should have a deal that it is delivered by biomom.

I have plenty of disciplinary tricks up my sleeve, and my stepdaughter is great, so she barely saw my range. None of these include spanking, shaking, slapping, hitting, pinching, pushing, etc. --I did give lectures, give 'consequences,' suspend cell acct, remove the cable from cable box to TV and took it to work with me, disabled the computer, put The Club on the kid's car, went and retrieved stepdaughter from friends, called vice principal, etc. when called-for. The rest of the time, 99%, I was pleasant and helpful and still am. I ALWAYS provided for school stuff, paid for summer camp, decent wardrobe of clothes, etc. Food, roof, etc.

Depending on circumstances, moms should foster a child-biodad relationship. my best guess here is stepdad should accept this, and let it happen without much direction or input frmo stepdad- stepdad controls his family, but does not control relationship with child-and-bio dad -- unless it is unsafe or otherwise harmful, in which case step-dad has obligations as the father of the household to keep his family safe, warm, fed, and reasonably happy with their home.

So, stepdad, in my view, cannot be distant. He may want to be in the dad role, and mom may prevent him, or he may NOT want to be the father role, and mom wants him to be the in-lieu-of-dad.

Either way, the couple needs to get on the same page or there will be trouble and more divorce.

This marriage cannot work as a romantic fling for mom and stepdad, with kids held at a distance from stepdad, and stepdad trying to work his romance thang with his wife. The kids are in the mix whether the big people like it or not. Have some weekend getaways with babysitters watching the kids if y'all want to feel like a 'couple.' Tough but that is reality. The quicker everyone jumps on board, the quicker things will fall into place.

On top of keeping the kids in shoes and posterboards for those school projects, Stepdad has a great opportunity to be a role model and to become recognized as a loving, reliable, supportive resource for the ret of the lives of the stepkids.

Nowadays, dads are supposed to be emasculated, so you may not see the reality and significance of this role-model yet. Men are supposed to get into the "best-friends," non-authority role that karl marx would approve of. Better to let the school give our children rules, expectations, morality, breakfast, lunch, and education on politics, and let us parents just be BFF with our kids.

You can buy the books out there about how boys don't need dads - amazon has many - etc. My style will be coincident with what you will largely find in the Christian parenting stuff - Chip Ingram, etc. If you avoid this stuff due to what the marxists have brainwashed you with, it is to your loss.

Posted on Feb 3, 2012 7:41:45 AM PST
Kylie Spears says:
Check out "When Mommy Went To Heaven"....written by, Evon Latrail. There is a part where the father reaches out to the child about the mom not coming back.
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Discussion in:  Parenting forum
Participants:  6
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Initial post:  Dec 30, 2010
Latest post:  Feb 3, 2012

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