By MICHAEL CARR-GREGG
RRP $26.00, Penguin
An essential handbook for any step-parent or anyone considering joining the ranks of the fastest-growing family group in New Zealand.
- How can I let my step-child know I care for them when they refuse to talk to me?
- What do I do when my ex tries to turn our child against my new partner?
- My new relationship is under stress because of the step-children, what can I do?
These questions and more are tackled by leading psychologist Michael Carr-Gregg in his new book Surviving Step-Families, which deals with the difficult issue of transitioning families. The number of families coming to terms with these challenges is steadily growing and Michael Carr-Gregg notes that ‘by 2020 there will be more step-families in New Zealand than nuclear families.’
Michael’s five key tips for dealing with the challenges of a new family unit:
- Remember – you are not the parent
- Don’t neglect your marriage
‘While every step-family is unique in composition, ancestry and circumstances, psychologists and researchers have identified common developmental stages the each will pass through on its way to becoming a stable, happy family.’
From the initial fantasy stage, through confusion and conflict, families must navigate their way to resolution and comfort. Carr-Gregg describes these phases and explains how parents can deal with their children’s feelings, manage often difficult ex-partners and learn how to work through issues with them.
Becoming a step-parent is one of the toughest journeys anyone can take, but the rewards can be immeasurable. Accessible and reassuring, Surviving Step-Families offers practical advice on how to manage these issues. Breakout boxes with real-life stories can be found in every chapter, along with several humorous cartoons by Ron Tandberg depicting real life experiences.
About the Author
Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is one of Australia’s highest profile psychologists and an internationally recognized authority on teenage behavior. He was the founder of the world’s first national support group for teenage cancer patients, Can Teen, and has been Executive Director of the New Zealand Drug Foundation, Associate Professor at the University of Melbourne’s Department of Paediatrics, and a political lobbyist. He is currently a consultant psychologist to many schools and national organizations, including Reach Out and beyondblue. In 2011 he was appointed as the advisor to the Queensland Government on bullying and cyber-bullying.
Michael has been a regular on Melbourne Radio 3 AW, the resident parenting expert on Channel 7’s Sunrise since 2005 and a regular on its Morning Show. He has written several bestselling books on parenting, including Surviving Adolescents, The Princess Bitchface Syndrome, Real Wired Child and When to Really Worry. Michael is currently based in Melbourne. He has a long affiliation with New Zealand: his wife and son are Kiwis; Michael attended the Victoria University of Wellington and he is a regular visitor here.