If you or your ex-spouse has recently remarried, check out these new books. They can make life in a stepfamily easier -- for you and your kids.
The Everything Parent's Guide to Children and Divorce
By Carl E. Pickhardt, Ph.D.
From the first stages of divorce to remarriage, this comprehensive book covers need-to-know essentials, such as how to balance your attention between your new partner and your children, communicate between two households, and treat your ex-spouse as an ally. Remarried parents will find the list of do's (do let your kids know that they will not be able to drive away their stepparent with misbehavior) and don'ts (don't allow differences over parenting philosophies to become divisive in your marriage) especially helpful. (Adams Media, $14.95)
Mom's House, Dad's House for Kids
By Isokina Ricci, Ph.D.
Written by the author of Mom's House, Dad's House, which has helped parents deal with divorce for over 25 years, this version speaks directly to older kids about adjusting to living in two households and understanding the emotions that come along with it. The book encourages active thinking with questions to ask yourself, fill-in-the blanks, and quizzes, and suggests kids keep a journal to record their emotions. The 200-plus-page book may be overwhelming for children, so parents might want to read it with them. (Ages 10 and up, Fireside/Simon & Schuster, $15)
My Father Married Your Mother
Edited by Anne Burt
There is something for everyone in this collection of essays by 27 writers, who reflect on stepparents, stepchildren, and stepsiblings. Each essay encourages the reader to reexamine the idea of the perfect nuclear family and sheds light on what it means to forge relationships with new family members. (W.W. Norton & Company, $24.95)
The 317 Best Things About Being a Stepmom
By Cynthia L. Copeland
This upbeat book -- full of proverbs, quotes from stepmoms, and parenting truths -- will help stepparents feel positive about the challenges they face. The chapters cover tips for combining the flocks, the perks of going from a single gal to married-with-children, and more. Chapter 10 features strategies for making your second marriage a success.
(Workman Publishing, $8.95)
The Truth About Children and Divorce
By Robert E. Emery, Ph.D.
Based on the author's 25 years of experience and research, this book discusses how parents can deal with their emotions and the emotions of their children. The advice is practical and to the point, addressing common problems like what kids can call their stepparents, creating schedules depending on the type of divorce, and handling holidays and vacations. (Plume, $15)