When there is a stepmother or stepfather, what happens regarding the absent partner?

Q. When there is a stepmother or stepfather, what happens then to the basic script regarding the absent partner?

photo of Joane Goulding founder of the sleeptalk methodSince the child’s basic self-image comes from both parents it is important that the child is comfortable loving both parents without guilt.

A. Children can sometimes feel or gain the impression that to love the parent who is not the primary carer is to be disloyal.

If this issue is inappropriately dealt with (e.g., if they are given an image of fear or hate from one parent, or they are subjected to negative comments about the other parent) the result is likely to be confusion and disharmony and even guilt and helplessness, which may, in turn, develop into aggression and anger.

How can they love one parent without being disloyal to the other?

This is why the Foundation Script acknowledge both parents equally and includes a phrase to cover all bases!