From a child’s standpoint, all family arrangements constitute a family, whether they include parents or parental figures.However, when the arrangements include more than one household, changes in one household can influence the others.Feature Article Arthur Schneider, Human Development Specialist, Cooper County, University of Missouri Extension According to researcher Constance Ahrons, who completed a 20-year study of children of divorce, about half of all American children will experience a parent’s remarriage before they reach age 18. Census Bureau, have only recently begun to recognize this trend.
For example, one child in the study said he thought his mother was “behaving like a teenager.” Older children who have witnessed their parents’ bad marriages are more receptive to their parents’ new relationships.
Still, few teens accept a new partner as a parent figure.
Children age 5 to 10 are more possessive of their mother than older children.
They may feel threatened or resentful at having to share their mothers with new men.
It is rarely easy for children to witness their parents dating.
Parents may enjoy the courtship process, but children may worry about how the process will change their lives.It is important to make time to establish rules and rituals that pertain to all of the family’s children.Most often, children live with their mothers and stepfathers.Children tend to know their mothers’ new husbands very well before remarriage.When the remarriage takes place, children are not as affected as they may have been if they had been surprised by the remarriage.The courtship process Nearly all the children in Ahrons’ study reported their parents dated or remarried within two years of separation.