Becoming the step-parent is not something we’re naturally built to do. Genetic wiring can get messy when it comes to taking on parenting duties for our new spouse’s kids. Add to that, we’re facing an uphill battle against media and pop culture expectations of the perfect step-parent creating assumptions of what the new family is supposed to look like, just about all of which is off the mark.
Enter The Essential Stepmom
This week on the show we welcome Tracy Poizner, parenting strategist who specializes in helping divorced moms and dads navigate new parenting duties and help them raise well-adjusted, fully-parented humans. She teaches us how to move through shallow expectations and work toward forging relationships of trust within a new family, challenging preconceived notions of perfection in favor of respect.
What don’t people understand about becoming a step-parent? A lot, according to Poizner. Overcoming expectations and stereotypes is central to avoiding parent alienation. “Your maternal instinct needs to be unplugged,” she says. “The best way to build trust is to stay out of the way.”
Tracy Poizner is the host of The Essential Stepmom podcast and the Undeletable Dad coaching program. She can be found at Essential Stepmom: The Womanly Art of Raising Someone Else’s Kids.
Seth Nelson is a Tampa based family lawyer known for devising creative solutions to difficult problems. In How to Split a Toaster, Nelson and co-host Pete Wright take on the challenge of divorce with a central objective — saving your most important relationships with your family, your former spouse, and yourself.