Parenting Plans Protect Blended Families
Divorce rates are higher among families formed subsequent to a divorce than they are for first marriage families. A strong partnership between husband and wife can be cultivated in a number of different ways. One strategy that is less discussed is for the parent and step-parent to create a parenting plan.
The parenting plan may be created before the parties marry and include ways for the family to begin developing relationships prior to marriage.
A step-parent and child who can step into a parent/child relationship after the couple walks down the aisle may experience less stress in the early days of the marriage.
The parenting plan may also include the collective establishment of household rules and consequences for the new family in order to support the child and encourage better behavior and emotional adjustment. Parent and step-parent should consider how and who will engage in discipline of the children. Typically, it is better if early on in the marriage, the parent is the disciplinarian, but over time that can change so the step-parent also plays a role.