Children typically are more likely to flourish when they have the support of both parents, she said.
"Setting aside anger and hostility can be difficult, but doing so will benefit a child and, in the long run, his or her parents, as well," said Olsen, who offered these tips:
Although separation and divorce are painful, time can heal, Olsen said. Time also can be an asset for stepfamilies, who grow into new relationships and establish new patterns.
One caution: Don't rush from one relationship to another. Take the time to identify problem behaviors that damaged a previous relationship and address them before seeking a new relationship, she said.
More information on managing family relationships successfully is available at the local K-State Research and Extension office and Extension's Web site: www.oznet.ksu.edu (click on "Home, Family and Youth.")
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