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What’s the best way to deal with combining families with kids in a second marriage?

Were you expecting a simple formula? If so — you’ll be disappointed! There IS NO simple formula. No one-size-fits-all. No quick fix. No magic wand. Blending two families with children into one new household is an important and often daunting task that takes great communication, compassion, and planning. What will the new rules be? How will expenses for the children…

How can parents and educators help prevent future violence?

Violence and hate crimes have been rising among increasingly younger age groups. Like any other epidemic, we need to define risk factors and strategies for prevention. We also need to recognize that violence cannot be “treated” by punishment after the fact: we have to learn how to prevent it. Our youth are growing up in a world where they face…

What are your rights as a stepparent?

In the United States, approximately 40 percent of all married couples with children are blended families. That means that in each of these households, at least one-half of the couple is helping to raise their spouse’s children. The question is often raised, what rights do step-parents have when it comes to their step-children, not only in their daily lives, but…

Lawyer Explains Mediation

We all experience conflict. Often, when we can’t work it out, we turn to the courts. As a result, San Francisco courtrooms are overloaded with cases brought by people who are unable to solve their own problems. These people quickly find that litigation is stressful, expensive and time-consuming. While it is true that some cases can only be settled with…

Keep Peace in the Family

Would taking extra steps to establish a more thoughtful estate plan prevent the family battles so common these days? That’s the question addressed at a recent continuing education program I moderated. Ruth Dixon-Mueller, a sociologist and author of 2017’s fascinating Passing On: What’s Fair in Family Inheritance?, and Frederick Hertz, a Bay Area attorney and mediator, weighed in on the…

What can you do about your child’s sleep anxiety?

A common problem when combining households is sleep anxiety. One or more of the children, especially young children, may have difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep. So what can you do, as parents? If there were just one reason this happens the answer would be simple, but of course that’s not the case. There are many reasons children can…

A home filled with peace, respect and love: how do you make it happen?

Just about everyone wishes for a home filled with peace, respect and love, but it’s not so easy to create i– ESPECIALLY when combining two households with children and a second marriage or partnership. Even without the baggage of the Wicked Stepmother myth, blending families is challenging at best. Today there are more blended families than “traditional” ones in the…

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