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Even worse, they completely abdicate the heavy lifting of parenting, allowing the new wife to take on a dreaded new role: "The Enforcer." This is where the marital trouble begins.
Instead of being thanked for stepping up, The Enforcer is ostracized.
The greatest challenge is not usually direct conflict with the stepchildren, but rather, conflict over the parenting of the stepchildren, especially if the new husband suffers from Guilty Father Syndrome.
Every stepmom knows a marriage that comes with a built-in family comes with built-in challenges.
She may assume that fights with the stepkids will pose the greatest threat to her new family, but, in observing the couples around me, I've found this not to be the case.
Decide together what the new rules are for the children, then have a family meeting to discuss expectations, responsibilities and consequences.
And by all means, don't let the children bounce back and forth depending on who their favorite parent is.