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Case C: Denise, Dave, Mya and Clayton

In every situation, communication is very necessary. For divorced parents, it isn’t an option. The child must be the top priority at all times so that they aren’t missing out on the parenting and support of two parents just because the parents couldn’t work out their marriage. This is already hard enough as is, so bringing in another parent can make things very difficult. To begin, both biological parents must set boundaries. They must evaluate what each other need in order to be the best parents they can be. These actions will require a lot of things, but open communication and respect are at the top of that list (Rivers, n.d.). The stepparent must understand that they aren’t a replacement, but an additional parent.

So, what should be done about this situation? Denise has to first speak with her husband, Dave, and remind him that although he and her are married, Clayton is still the father of her child. Denise can deliver this message by respectfully addressing that she knows Mya is loved by him and her father. While she is openly speaking, Dave must be patient and open minded about what she is saying. He has to understand that he is not Mya’s new father, but an additional parent that will love and support her. Denise can also begin to understand why Dave may be feeling anger towards Clayton. After they meet, Clayton must be brought into the conversation. Because Dave is the individual with erupting feelings, it is important for Denise and Clayton to remind him that he is just as much of a parent to Mya as they are. In doing this, the hope is to help Dave understand that it is less about the adults and all about the child. What Mya needs is all of her parents and instead of Denise and Clayton escorting Mya on her first day of school, Denise, Clayton, and Dave should escort her. This will involve all parents and help them to form a cordial relationship that allows Mya to have all three of her parents there for her with zero tension and drama.

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