Is it O.K. for my stepchild to have a picture of his mom in his room? What about a photo of his mom and his dad together (my husband with his ex.) That really bugs me and I wonder if it's O.K.
Shirley Cress Dudley responds:
Blended families are tough. Good for you- for reaching out, when you need an outside opinion. There's nothing wrong with a child having a photo of their "other" parent in their room.
Having a photo of mom and dad together is not healthy- it perpetuates the dream of mom and dad getting back together. This photo needs to be put in a special album or her, or stored away.
Parents sometimes say- "but he's been through so much- can't he just keep the photo?" These are the parents that stand together for a group "family" photo at school events, or even get together at the holidays, "for the kids."
These are the parents that are keeping their kids from accepting reality- ignoring the changes that have happened in their lives. These parents are keeping their children from healing, and learning to cope with life when it doesn't go the way they want to. These parents are actually hurting their kids, by shielding them from reality and allowing things like couple's photos in the home.
Let your partner read this- it may help.
Shirley Cress Dudley
Director of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center
author of the book, Blended Family Advice