Starting Again!

parenting tipsQuestion:

Hello. My son is 8 and is just recently having issues with the fact that 6 years ago his father walked out of our lives and has never looked back.We recently moved in with my boyfriend and his son.I realize that this is hard on my son because he doesn’t have a relationship with his father and sees my boyfriend and his son so close. My son is extremely emotional and angry at his father and takes his feelings out on us. How do I help him cope and get through this.


Hi Brenna,

Believe it or not, there is a bright future ahead for the two of you. Your situation is filled with opportunity.

The first step is listen to your son express his feelings. As you learn more completely what is bothering him, he will feel more understood. Sometimes what looms large in a child’s mind is something that has an easy fix. Once you get an accurate handle on the situation, you will better be able to provide the proper support.

At the same time start to develop your own new and very confident positive approach. It is time to rebuild. Be sure to emphasize that there is no one family pattern that is right and that the two of you can work together to build yours and make it wonderful in its own way.

Use this new and positive energy to help your child grow, change, and enjoy life. This kind of spirit will soon take on a life of its own. Sports, hobbies, classes, and other kinds of activities are great avenues for your child to explore. New books can also be helpful. Look for projects that you can work on together. Come up with your own ideas. Have fun as you two embark on this next chapter in your lives.

September! The Month of the Babies

Life is a forward process… always. We continually build it. We learn from the past to live better in the present, and we use the present to build the future. With babies all our trial-and-error is helpful. For older ones, keep up the same momentum to move past the difficulties, enjoy the present, and build that future with every ounce of positive energy that your body will allow.

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  1. Great question Sally and great advice!
    Not knowing the exact situation I’m just guessing here but giving some advice from my clinical experience.

    This is tough on the son and the whole family !
    It’s called blended families and there are lots of books written on the tooic with helpful tips that you can do .
    Your new stepson needs some fun time alone time with you, your son needs alone time (fun Bonding activities )with his step dad.
    And of course your son needs Lots of reassurances and alone time with you!
    If you go to my site,
    I have feeling activity maps that are helpful activities to do daily To help sort feelings out .
    Kids need choices of feelings they don’t really know how they feel they just lash out .
    You could also do it with your family and with your son.
    The thing that helps kids most with feelings is empathy. For example you can say
    That’s a hard feeling to have, I’m sorry that can’t be easy, this is a hard adjustment, I can help you with it, let’s brainstorm ideas for what would make it easier!
    Let’s try to say things in a more helpful way!
    I’m happy to listen about your feelings but we can’t be mean.
    I can help you find better ways to express yourself Because this is so hard!
    I bet sometimes you feel like I don’t love you but there’s enough room in my heart to love everybody and you are very important to me.
    Keep in mind blending families
    can take up to five years.
    I generally find in these situations a child therapist could really help speed the process and help your son build up his self-esteem that his dad left.
    A male therapist would be preferable.
    See if there any family therapy institutes where you live .
    Please excuse the typos I did this on my phone:) Ava

  2. I totally endorse the advice provided here. This is not a simple or quick process. It’s an evolution of showing support, love and empathy day after day. Listening and validating what you hear is always so important. Getting the additional support of a professional will also serve you well.

  3. Rosalind And dr Sally thanks for the endorsement!:)
    Rosalind I took a look at your site your book looks wonderful and really helpful for parents!!! What a great idea!

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