If you're interested in the first 7 chapters check out "BOOK REVIEW" under the "WHAT I WRITE ABOUT" section, in the sidebar.
Let's move on to...Chapters 8 and 9
Chapter 8: When the Nuclear Family Explodes
"The hardest job in the world is to be a single parent. You are breadwinner and bread baker, guide and gorilla, nurse and nag. Pamper yourself a little. You need to be a strong entity in this family to make this work, and that means you need to take care of yourself."
I'm not going to say much here, only because I don't have any experience with this. I can't imagine how hard doing a two person job must be. But, I do know that if you become a martyr for your children it won't do you or them any good.
"More then ever, you need to show love for your misbehaving child while still requiring the child to act properly. Fight the temptation to solve all their problems."
Not disciplining because of your guilt (over your divorce) is not going to make your child have a better life. Don't make them a go between either. No matter what you may think, this other person is their parent too. My sister was divorced from a man after 22 years of marriage and 3 children. I think the youngest was in her early teens. She finally decided to have the child support garnished from her ex's checks, so that she wouldn't have to argue with him on the phone about when he was going to send it. She also didn't have to read any more nasty notes from him that he'd write on the memo line of the check. It made things just a little less stressful.
"...it takes at least two years to heal emotionally from a divorce, often more. The best way to be healthy as a family is to accept the ideas that you may remain single, and you have to learn to cope as a family without the missing piece. That's reality. Then if God does bring a new spouse into your life, you'll be entering the relationship that much stronger."
Chapter 9: Families Don't Blend, They Collide:
"I recommend that blended families have a weekly anger meeting. Give each person a chance to say what's making them mad."
"The success of your blended family depends on the whole crew pulling together. You cannot demand allegiance; you have to earn it. So don't force things, especially at the start. Be respectful. Listen to the children. You don't have all the answers-let them know that. Don't make decisions that affect others in the family without checking with them. Build a team. It will take three to seven years for your family to blend. You can hasten that process by honoring each person as a valued team member."
So many of my students have to deal with mom or dad's "friend" living in their house and then a few weeks or months later that "friend" moving out, mom or dad being miserable and then a new "friend" moving in. It's a cycle I see happen over and over and over again throughout the school year. It's not fair to put your child through this emotional turmoil. They have enough emotional baggage to deal with, what with their other parent not being around. I think a lot of these kids feel like they are second or third in their (single) parent's life. They feel that their parent cares more about the "friend." At some point these parents need to put their child's needs above their own.
Ok, I'll get off my soap box now...tell me what you think.