Peter Gross, LCSW

The Child & Family Counseling Group, PLC

Dual Household Families

 This refers to separated and divorced families with children.  We will explore the challenges of the single parent family and the blended family. The process is difficult because of the context of failure. When couples are unable to reconcile their differences they begin the legal and emotional dissolution of their family.The success of this transition is contingent on the parents to put the emotional needs of their children above their own. When children get caught up in the conflicts between spouses they have the impossible task of distinguishing parental approval from parental loyalty.

Here is some useful information from the Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

Children and Divorce

 

 

    
The Single Parent Family

 

The attempt to be both a mother and father to a child is tough for a single parent.While there are no clear answers to resolve the situation an acceptance by the parent of their limitations will validate the child's disappointment and anger. This creates an opportunity for the family to work together in finding creative ways to manage things without guilt or defensiveness.

Here is a link from The American Academy of Pediatrics:

Stresses of Single Parenting

 

The Blended Family

The Blended family is a family of half brothers and half sisters; step-moms and step-dads.The most difficult task is the inherent change in everyone's routine to include people never known before the  marriage. Combine that with the visitation schedules and you have the potential for outrage and defiance. Parents struggle with decisions involving setting limits or imposing consequences for non compliance. "Your not my real Dad/Mom" is bound to be evoked at some point.Establishing a consistent approach to discipline is a key for parents to be effective. Creating opportunities for everyone to work out problems and develop new ways of managing the house will allow the kids a sense of control in their new home. Parents always have final say in any decisions involving rule and consequences. They have a great opportunity to model effective problem solving skills for the kids.

Another link from The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry:

 Stepfamily Problems