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Stepping Stones Counseling Center Past Articles

Book Review: Ex-Etiquette For Parents: Good Behavior After a Divorce or Separation
By Jann Blackstone-Ford and Sharyl Jupe
Review By Lisa Cohn, www.stepfamilyadvice.com

This book, written by a second wife and her husband's ex, is a very comprehensive guide to how parents should behave after a divorce or separation. It covers a broad range of topics, including how to get along with your spouse's ex, how to ease kids' transition from Mom's house to Dad's house, what to do when kids compare Mom's house to Dad's house, and much more. Not only to the authors provide great advice about such topics; they offer divorced parents tips about how to prepare themselves emotionally to be the best parents they can be. Blackstone-Ford and Jupe suggest parents let go of anger and resentment, embrace forgiveness, identify negative expectations and acknowledge mutual interests-all with a goal of putting their children and stepchildren first.

The authors also promise parents that bad relationships with ex-spouses will change, if only parents are willing to take some emotional risks with their ex-spouses and their ex-spouses' new partners. They offer their own inspiring story as an example. They also include sample conversations with ex-spouses, questions from divorced parents, sample wedding invitations for adult children of divorced parents, tips about how to take holiday photos of stepfamilies, and more.

As a member of a family with "his, hers and ours" kids, I found some of the well-meaning stepparenting tips to be a bit simplistic, but that's a minor criticism, given this book's potential to change the way divorced parents interact with one another. I hope divorced parents everywhere read this book with open minds and hearts, and embrace its message.


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