Feelings surrounding newly blended families

Chris Fulton, PhD Clinical Psychologist, shares advice for parents on how to help their children deal with newly blended families and the anger they may have
Blended Families | Helping Child's Feelings About Newly Blended Family
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Feelings surrounding newly blended families

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When you’re trying to help children deal with like blended families and newcomers to a family ¬– like boyfriends and girlfriends of parents – the ideal is try to wait. You know, you have to start there. It’s best to wait at least 3 to 6 months before you introduce someone into the family. Because otherwise, they start associating the newcomer as the reason why there was a divorce – and you don’t want that, because that will make it very hard to build a relationship. But you know, if there is the anger, what you try to do is hear out what your child has to say. What is it that they’re angry about? And again, try to listen to the undertones, the latent part of the message. See if it happens to be that the child just isn’t getting any alone time now the dad. Maybe the only time the dad actually spends time with his son is when this other child is around. So you want to create alone time. So make sure that this child has opportunity to build a relationship with each newcomer – boyfriend, girlfriend and their kids – but separately.

Chris Fulton, PhD Clinical Psychologist, shares advice for parents on how to help their children deal with newly blended families and the anger they may have

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Chris Fulton, PhD

Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Christopher Fulton is a licensed clinical psychologist and has been in private practice for over ten years. He received his doctorate in 1994 from the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles. Dr. Fulton has clinical training and experience in a variety of settings, and also has administrative, teaching, supervision, consulting, research and psychological testing experience. Dr. Fulton provides consultation and ongoing therapy for children, adolescents and adults. He conducts group, individual, couples and family therapy and actively works with a variety of childhood disorders, including: adjustment disorder, ADHD, anxiety, depression, oppositional defiant and other emotional-behavioral disorders. Among his most frequent areas of concentration is divorce, for which Dr. Fulton offers therapy for all involved.

Utilizing research-supported methods in treatment, Dr. Fulton's approach to therapy involves a combination of cognitive-behavioral, family systems and interpersonal interventions. In his work with children, Dr. Fulton involves parents and assists them in developing appropriate responses to their children, since he believes that ultimately the parent will make the most significant impact on the child. Dr. Fulton helps parents establish appropriate boundaries, communication and methods of discipline in order to increase positive relationships with their children.

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