What if a child does not accept a new partner? Ten parenting questions about divorce

Of the couples who separated in 2021, slightly more than half had one or more children, figures from the Central Bureau of Statistics show. It is therefore not surprising that this topic is often discussed in the Parenting section, where Annemiek Leclaire sends questions from readers to experts. The NRC selected ten questions about parenting after a divorce. From how you deal with ‘bonus children’ to whether it’s bad to use a different parenting style than your ex-partner.

1How do you keep it cozy when teenagers don’t feel like the mandatory sleepovers?

A ‘bonus mother’ has the feeling that she is in the middle of two parties. Her partner’s teenage children are occasionally home for a weekend against the boys’ wishes. The children retreat to their rooms or behind their cell phones. Her partner tries to force together with measures, but it backfires.

In situations like this, it can help to sit down and talk about everyone’s feelings. In this episode of Raised experts explain how to start the conversation.

2Is it bad if divorced parents use different parenting techniques?

A reader with children aged 6 and 10 has the idea that the children in her home compensate for their father’s strict regime by nagging and demanding a lot. How do you deal with diverging parenting styles?

After a divorce, it often takes a while to find your own way of parenting. Different styles are not necessarily bad for children. Experts explain how to develop your own parenting style and include children’s wishes in it.

3Can you ask a step parent to treat your child differently?

Can you ask a step parent to be more gentle with your child while raising their own children with a harsh hand? This surprises a father with a mildly autistic son, because the boy sometimes comes home upset about his stepfather’s abuse.

It is up to the child’s mother to approach the partner about this, according to the consulted experts. But if that communication goes badly, is there another solution?.

4What if a child decides to visit less often?

During a divorce, the time children spend with both parents is often divided. What if a child at a later age indicates that he wants to visit one of the parents less often?

A reader wonders in this raised episode if he should keep his daughter on their regular schedule or if it’s better to accept her wish to make separate arrangements.

5Can you show the kids that you’re mad at your ex?

After discovering something unpleasant about his ex, this father finds it difficult to act cheerful and relaxed during the move of the children. His daughters, aged 10 and 12, notice this. Can he share his anger at their mother with the children?

Complicated things are a part of life, even for children. Clinical psychologist Liesbeth Groenhuijsen sees discussing emotions as an educational opportunity. But it is important to a few things to consider.

6How to deal with a child who does not accept a new partner?

A divorced father wants to involve his new partner more in his life and children. But his youngest son does not like the woman.

Don’t want too much too soon, advises auxiliary educator Zoë Rejaän. And see step by step what the son can do.

7What is the role of grandparents after a divorce?

A reader would like to encourage her grandchildren to talk about their parents’ divorce. She wants to know what is going on in the children and how they experience the situation. Can she encourage them or is it better to wait until they come up with their own stories?

Clinical psychologist Liesbeth Groenhuijsen and auxiliary educator Ria Balm give advice on what grandparents should and should not do in such a situation.

8Should you keep doing family things with your ex?

Celebrating children’s birthdays together or occasionally eating together. There are couples who, after a divorce, continue to do things together for the sake of the children. Is it good for the children, or does it just keep opening the wound of the divorce, asks a reader.

It depends on how fresh the divorce is and how parents behave towards each other. say experts in this episode of Educated.

9What to do if children do not do homework with an ex-partner?

At home, a divorced reader is subject to a strict regime regarding his sons’ homework. They prefer to play games with their father, resulting in bad grades. How do you handle this?

According to the experts in this Raised episode, the mother can influence the situation by coaching her sons.

10Can you raise alone as well as with two?

A divorced reader looks after her two children alone. She has to hold a lot of balls high and is therefore sometimes impatient or too indulgent in her opinion. She doubts: can you raise alone as well as with two?

The fact that a parent is (mostly) alone does not mean that children are worse off, says educational philosopher Stijn Sieckelinck.

Do you have questions about raising your own or other children’s (grand)children?

In the Educated section, we present readers’ dilemmas anonymously to the best experts. We are giving away copies of the book ‘Other parents do also something’, a compilation of the first volume of the section, among those who have asked questions.

This section is anonymous because difficulties in upbringing can be sensitive. When you post a question, you will always receive an answer from the author of the Educated section.

Annemiek Leclaire


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