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Recommended Parenting Books

''Remarried with Children: Ten Secrets for Successfully Blending and Extending Your Family'' by Barbara LeBey

Remarried with Children: Ten Secrets for Successfully Blending and Extending Your Family
by Barbara LeBey

Keeping your marriage strong is probably the single most important thing you can do to provide your children with the emotional security they need as they grow confidently toward adulthood. But despite our best intentions and our abiding love for our kids, we sometimes choose, for various reasons, to end a marriage. Divorce is a life-altering event for the kids and the adults involved (including grandparents). But humans are resilient and the promise of love and intimacy is a powerful motivator—so divorced parents often seek new partners. Those new spouses are more and more likely to be bringing their own children into the new marriage. According to American Demographics magazine, as of the year 2000, more than 50 percent of American families fell into the “blended-extended” category. That means that it has now become the norm for kids to spend at least part of their time with stepparents, stepsiblings, and stepgrandparents.

To help ease the way through this family transition there are valuable resource books like Barbara LeBay’s Remarried with Children. With a practical and frank approach, advice from an array of experts in the field, and a host of personal stories from people who have dealt with their own remarriage with children, LeBay’s essential guide is for anyone who has recently remarried with kids or is about to.

…the nuclear American family is [not] the one, ideal kind of family relationship. [In] the ideal family… members thrive and are able to reach their full potential.
—Barbara LeBay

This book doesn’t mince words when talking about a remarried parent’s priorities. Likewise, it offers a much-needed rundown of realistic expectations of what it’s like to raise kids in a blended environment. LeBay talks openly about the impact of ex-spouses, fathers who fade from their kids lives, being a great stepmom, dealing with ex-in-laws, facing money matters, and more.

There are many important lessons here along with tools, suggested ground rules and discussion drivers for families working out their differences. Best of all, Remarried with Children offers readers lots of encouragement. It also reminds us that despite the very real challenges of making blended families strong and loving units, it can be done. And there are plenty of heart-warming success stories throughout to demonstrate just how some families managed it.

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