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They should never be an authority figure in relation to your child," Markham says.

"There is just too much opportunity for abuse of power.

"Not to throw cold water on the idea that you could find Mr. Right, but rebound relationships famously don't work out and after a divorce is when you are most vulnerable.

Sometimes referred to as the “abusive boyfriend syndrome,” scholars note there is “a statistically greater potential for instability” in homes where adults and children, who have no biological connection, reside.

“It comes down to the fact they don't have a relationship established with these kids,” states Eliana Gil, clinical director for the national abuse-prevention group Childhelp.

“Their primary interest is really the adult partner, and they may find themselves more irritated when there's a problem with the children.'' Of course, not all stepparents or “bonus parents” (male or female) struggle to bond or love the children of their new partners.

There are certainly many stories of blended families thriving.

Yet, the number is lower if the woman is a mother of a minor child.