The same problem of intense intimacy can exist in parent’s relationships with extended family.


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Top Tips In Dealing With Extended Family After Divorce


  • Be prepared for extended family on both sides to do and say things that are hurtful to the other parent in their inept attempts to demonstrate loyalty to the blood relative. Try not to take it personally.  They are also going through emotionally-laden changes.
  • Beware of letting your personal wishes to disconnect deprive your child of their right to have a relationship with the extended family of the other parent. Every person who is connected to your child is a possible resource.
  • Don’t interfere with your child’s access to extended family solely based on your own feelings about the family members.
  • Try to re-label extended family members in a neutral way.  It’s likely that things will quiet down over time, especially if you have reduced the intensity of your feelings about them.

About Kathleen Bird

Kathleen Bird, JD is a mediator, parent educator, former judge, and family lawyer. Her book, Self-Centered Co-Parenting, is the result of her experience working with thousands of frustrated parents to find a self-empowering method for quality parenting and decision-making.