Whenever the subject of single parents marrying again arises, there is a tendency to think that the greatest consideration should be given to the impact of divorce on children. Those coping with the loss of a parent through death appear to receive less in the way of attention. Perhaps the concept of a “replacement parent” is perceived, by onlookers, to be a net gain? But this simplification of complex emotions shows a complete lack of understanding and grossly underestimates the problems such attitudes may foster in the resulting stepfamily.
- The emotions of the child dealing with the loss of a parent
- The feelings of the “replacement parent”
- The behavior of the biological parent
Today, I will be dealing only with the first issue: the effects of grief on a child whose remaining parent is marrying again.
The Child Dealing With the Loss of a Parent
Since the beginning of time, the concept of the wicked step parent has been at the center of fiction and drama. From Cinderella to Oliver, Hamlet to Princess Diana, the step-relationship has been an endlessly fascinating topic. The distress and effect may be different for each child, but chances are that they will experience one or more of the following emotions. These may not be immediately obvious.