Blog: Mel's Muse

Showing posts categorised as 'Stepfamilies'

Big Book Sale: Stepfamilies - Practical Help To Build A Stable, Happy Stepfamily

How do you tell your children they are going to have a step-parent? How do you handle disagreements about access and money? How do you deal with past hurts and fears?

All families have their difficulties, but stepfamilies often face special problems. And with nearly a million of them in the...

Posted at 13:22pm on 7th February 2015

The Joy, Or The Sadness, Of Teen Sex?

Photo: Solomon Island, Chesapeake Bay:
Mum, Dad, Boy, Girl

If The Joy of Teen Sex on Channel 4 had been titled The Fun of Teen Sex or simply Teen Sex it would probably have been seen by the TV regulators (if they still exist) as porn.  It was certainly a...

Posted at 15:31pm on 21st January 2011

Why My Marriage Bucks The One In Four Trend For Divorce

I’m sitting in the lounge after lunch, about to resume writing my new book, when I hear Paul coming down the stairs.

“Could you let me have my bank card back, please,” I call out.

He has borrowed it to take to the Post Office, because the Sub Postmaster forgot to write my number on...

Posted at 20:05pm on 24th July 2010

Successful Step-parenting: If Ozzy Osbourne Can Do It, So Can You!

I was asked by BBC Radio Birmingham to be their 'expert' on this morning's discussion on step-parenting. I’ve forgotten how many times I’ve been interviewed in connection with my book, Stepfamilies, but I suppose, given that something like one in eight British children are now growing up in a blended family, it’s a hot topic.

Posted at 11:57am on 8th October 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Three Potential Pitfalls - No 3 Contact With Absent Parent

The absent parent and the role they play in a stepfamily is, without doubt, one of the major blended family challenges. In the BBC Birmingham Andrew Peach show on which I had been invited to speak, I was able, in the brief amount of time allotted to me, to get something of this across.


Posted at 21:37pm on 24th August 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Three Potential Pitfalls - No 2 Coping With Step Children

Only a day after doing the BBC Newcastle Breakfast Show, I had a phone call from BBC Birmingham, asking me to kick off the debate on Sunday morning 9.05 a.m. on – guess what – stepfamilies! What’s going on here?

In my blog of a couple of days ago, I identified the three potential pitfalls...

Posted at 18:59pm on 21st August 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Three Potential Pitfalls - No. 1 Financial

BBC Radio Newcastle, which serves an area from the Scottish Borders to Durham, asked me to speak, this morning, on whether stepfamilies could ever be as successful and harmonious as biological families.

As before, on my interview with BBC Radio 5 Live, I answered a resounding Yes. From personal experience, plus observation of the families I...

Posted at 15:22pm on 18th August 2009

Do False Expectations Of Marriage Cause Stepfamily Problems?

What follows is an excerpt from the soon to be published revised and updated edition of Mel's book, Stepfamilies.

It is a false premise to expect that any marriage can ever answer all of our needs. To think otherwise is a totally unrealistic ideal which is doomed to disappointment. And this, perhaps, is one of the...

Posted at 17:51pm on 8th July 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Dealing With The Loss Of A Parent

Whenever the subject of single parents marrying again arises, there is a tendency to think that the greatest consideration should be given to the impact of divorce on children. Those coping with the loss of a parent through death appear to receive less in the way of attention. Perhaps the concept of a ‘replacement parent’...

Posted at 19:11pm on 5th June 2009

Successful Step Parenting: Consider The Impact Of Divorce On Children

Continuing the series on Stepfamilies, this revised and updated excerpt from Mel's book examines the steps that can be taken to avoid some of the problems that may arise for children of divorce.

MARRYING AGAIN used to be the only alternative to remaining single after a divorce but, with a shift in benefit payments in...

Posted at 01:00am on 29th May 2009

Marriage And Remarriage: When Two Halves Don't Make A Whole

Following is an abridged and revised excerpt from Mel’s book Stepfamilies, which the BBC recently asked her to debate on the Richard Bacon show. In previous posts, the inference has been that unless the two people embarking on a second (or subsequent) marriage get it right, there is little chance of tackling other blended family...

Posted at 15:02pm on 22nd May 2009

Remarriage: Laying Firm Foundations

A marriage is a lot like our house. While new it sparkles. Fresh smells, fun surprises and new discoveries... As time passes, however... the grit of responsibility mixed with the grind of routine starts to take its toll... Weeds sprout. Doors squeak and sag. Windows stick. Paint peels. Roofs leak...
From Strike The Original...

Posted at 18:55pm on 8th May 2009

Stable Stepfamilies: Book Excerpt - Foreword

AS A SCHOOLGIRL, I loved history. Not the dry dates and wars of my school books, but the vital characters that strode right out of their pages straight into my imagination. People like Henry VIII of England, for instance. His marriages particularly fascinated me. How, I would ask myself, did he get away with...

Posted at 20:05pm on 1st May 2009

Building Sustainable Relationships For Stepfamilies

I hope you’ll forgive me! I’m afraid I’m going to take the easy way out today and simply upload part of a chapter from my Stepfamilies book, on the topic of building effective relationships with somebody else’s children. It’s been a difficult week; as I tweeted only today: my mother has fallen and broken her pelvis....

Posted at 15:37pm on 24th January 2009

Step Parenting Advice: Don't Do It Unless You're Prepared To Work At It!

Can A Step Parent Ever Replace A Real Parent? This was the topic under debate on the Richard Bacon radio show on BBC Radio 5 Live on Tuesday evening. As the author of a book titled Stepfamilies, I had been invited to participate to put the positive side of the case, whilst Philip Parkin, General...

Posted at 12:19pm on 4th December 2008

Successful Step Parenting: Do You Know What It Takes?

I’ve been asked by BBC Radio 5 Live if I would take part in a debate, arguing the case for the premiss Can A Step Parent Take The Place Of A Real Parent? The e-mail was from one of their producers, who said he’d found my book, Stepfamilies on a Google search. During the telephone...

Posted at 17:21pm on 26th November 2008

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