Strategic Change is key to move through the stages of rebuilding a family after divorce:

There is a predictable process for parents and kids to rebuild a new family system together after divorce. Here are the four stages, (which could take years to complete,) and how it works to guide you or someone you care about in moving beyond the pain of the past to move toward a new life of connected and loving relationships.

1) Broken-
the children's parents close their marriage to each other, breaking their family apart into separate single parent households.

2) Blending-
one, (or sometimes both) of the children's parents have a new relationship that grows to the point of remarriage, frequently with several children involved, (think "yours-mine & ours). This is where knowing how to include the kids in forming this new family unit is critically important to guide adults and kids in avoiding conflict to build unity together as they begin to form a new family system.

3) Bonding-
these two families join together through the process of expanded relationship development and building on their unique strengths while setting boundaries on the areas of weakness to form a connected family environment of acceptance and love instead of power struggles and control.

4) Blessing-
this is the final stage where two different and unique families have grown together into one stronger new unit. They have not sacrificed their past or the people they used to be connected with; rather they have embraced their past and present to enjoy feeling more valued as they head into a stronger future together.

The journey through these four stages isn't easy, but the payoff in stronger kids and healthier families is huge and well worth the trade for everyone looking to be part of the most wonderful and sometimes most challenging relationship in life- parents & kids.

One concern to be aware of is the growing trend of giving children or teens pricey jewelry as a visual 'commitment during the remarriage process. This could easily backfire, since some teens could easily perceive 'bling' as a bribe to 'buy' some level of relationship instead of earn it the old fashioned way through building trust day by day.

Elaborate or expensive gifts are quick and easy and often lose their meaning as the years go by, strong relationships take time to develop and increase in value every day. One is a nice thought, the other a necessary part of moving from two broken families into one that is connected, bonded and blessed.

Hope these insights are useful to you through the process of bringing two broken families into one stronger and more connected one. If you would like more information on growing through the stages, or the mechanics of the wedding ceremony to bring in grandparents or other extended family members right from the beginning on the wedding day; please share your thoughts with us via the comments section on the blog, or directly through our counseling website, www.LifeWorksGroup.org I'm looking forward to hearing the success stories from people and families coming together to make their homes the happiest and safest place imaginable as they moved from a broken family... to a blessed one.
Please let us know what worked for you if you and your partner if you are able to connect with these ideas, or ifif you need more data or clarification on this process, since we all can always learn from each other on how to make a positive difference in the lives of people who are given a second chance to rebuild a stable family environment as well as to reach out and help the little guys and gals impacted by divorce who are counting on their parents to make healthy choices in the days ahead.

- Dwight Dwight Bain Bio:Author, Nationally Certified Counselor & Certified Family Law Mediator in practice since 1984 with a primary focus on solving crisis events and managing major change. Critical Incident Stress Management expert with the Orange County Sheriffs Office, founder of StormStress.com and trainer for over 1,000 business groups on the topic of making strategic change to overcome major stress- both personally & professionally. Professional member of the National Speakers Association; Corporate client list- Disney, Toyota, AT&T, Harcourt, DuPont & Bank of America. Organizational client list- US Army, Florida Hospital & International Critical Incident Stress Foundation. Quoted in: Investors Business Daily, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Orlando Sentinel & Newsday.Contact Info:Main Office: 407-647-7005 Dedicated FAX: 407.647.8874Mailing: 1850 Lee Road, Suite 250, Winter Park, FL 32789
Counseling resources: www.LifeWorksGroup.org
Coaching resources: www.DwightBain.com

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