How To Support Step-Children When Their Biological Father Doesn’t Want Contact?

Like it? Share it!

Posted by: Kevin Mulryne

Get it on iTunes Get in on Android

Show notes:

In this week’s episode

How to support step-children when their biological father doesn’t want contact

How Do I Support Our Step Children When Things Go WRONG?

Support for children who need help in coping with two homes after divorce

Plus … 

I am in Conversation with Jayneen Sanders, author of  ‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ to ensure children are armed with knowledge if they are ever touched inappropriately

Sue in Conversation with Jayneen Sanders


Connect with Jayneen


Facebook Page: Educate2Empower Publishing (E2E)

Facebook Page: Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept 

Twitter: @JayneenSanders

Twitter: @e2epublishing 

Instagram: @educate2empower

Jayneen’s books on Amazon

Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept: Protect children from unsafe touch by teaching them to always speak up.

‘Some Secrets Should Never Be Kept’ is a beautifully illustrated children’s picture book that sensitively broaches the subject of keeping children safe from inappropriate touch.

£6.95 – please click here to order


My Body! What I Say Goes!: Teach children body safety, safe/unsafe touch, private parts, secrets/surprises, consent, respect

The crucial skills taught in this book will help children to protect their bodies from inappropriate touch. Children will be empowered to say in a strong and clear voice, “This is my body! What I say goes!”

£6.95 – please click here to order


How Big Are Your Worries Little Bear?: A book to help children manage and overcome anxiety, anxious thoughts, stress and fearful situations

Little Bear is a worrier. He worries about everything! But with Mama Bear’s help, he soon learns his worries are not so big after all. Through this engaging and beautifully illustrated story, children will learn that everyday worries and fears can be overcome.

£6.45 – please click here to order


No Means No!: Teaching personal boundaries, consent; empowering children by respecting their choices and right to say ‘no!’

‘No Means No!’ is a children’s picture book about an empowered little girl who has a very strong and clear voice in all issues, especially those relating to her body and personal boundaries. This book can be read to children from 3 to 9 years. It is a springboard for discussions regarding children’s choices and their rights.

£6.45 – please click here to order


No Difference Between Us: Teach children gender equality, respect, choice, self-esteem, empathy, tolerance, and acceptance

Jess and Ben are twins. Jess is a girl and Ben is a boy but in all the BIG ways, there is NO difference between them! Explore with the children in your care the important issues of gender equality and respectful relationships. Combining cheerful illustrations and a simple but effective narrative, this book will help children to understand that, fundamentally, there is no difference between us.

£6.45 – please click here to order

Talking About Feelings: A book to assist adults in helping children unpack, understand and manage their feelings and emotions

The aim of this book is to assist adults in helping children unpack, understand and manage their feelings and emotions in an engaging and interactive way. This book can be used by parents, caregivers, teachers and/or health professionals who may have specific concerns about a child, or who simply wish to ‘check in’ to see how their child is fairing, and is an ideal addition to their ‘toolkit’.

£7.95- please click here to order

You, Me and Empathy: Teaching children about empathy, feelings, kindness, compassion, tolerance and recognising bullying behaviours

One of the most important social skills a child can learn is empathy. Being able to understand how another person is feeling and recognizing their needs helps people to connect to one another across race, culture and the diversity that is ever-present and so important to our world.

£6.45– please click here to order


Who Am I? I Am Me!: A book to explore gender equality, gender stereotyping, acceptance and diversity

Frankie loves dress-ups, playing soccer, visiting Grandpa, cooking pancakes, and so much more. Frankie loves what Frankie loves! The choice is always Frankie’s. Allowing your child to do the things they love and simply be themselves is one of the greatest gifts you can provide.

£6.45– please click here to order


Resilience: A book to encourage resilience, persistence and to help children bounce back from challenges and adversity

Meet Emmi! She is resilient, independent and courageous. She always tries her best, and even when the going gets tough, Emmi never gives in.

£6.45– please click here to order


Let’s Talk About Body Boundaries, Consent and Respect: Teach children about body ownership, respect, feelings, choices and recognizing bullying behaviors

Teaching young children about body boundaries, both theirs and others, is crucial to a child’s growing sense of self, their confidence and how they should expect to be treated by others.

From £6.47 – please click here to order


Body Safety Education: A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse

‘Body Safety Education — A parents’ guide to protecting kids from sexual abuse’ is a step-by-step guide for parents and carers on how to protect children from sexual abuse through personal Body Safety Education.

£6.45– please click here to order



Pearl Fairweather Pirate Captain: Teaching children gender equality, respect, respectful relationships, empowerment, diversity, leadership, recognising bullying behaviours and prevention of violence

Captain Pearl Fairweather is a brave, fair and strong pirate captain. She and her diverse crew of twenty-four women sail the seven seas on the good ship, Harmony, looking only for adventure. All is well, until the day Captain Sandy McCross sails into their lives and demands to take over Pearl’s ship!

£6.95– please click here to order

Related product:

We recommend this product for helping with the issues raised on this podcast.


A bad marriage can make parenting and life in general stressful. The loss of the family structure can be very…

View product

Don’t Stew – Ask Sue Parenting Q & A

Q. Dear Sue I have a bright and boisterous 5 year-old son. He was diagnosed with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder last year. One thing I have learnt is that children with ADHD thrive on routine and structure. I am separated from his Dad and I’d like to help him as he’s constantly asking about his timelines and whom he’ll be with and when. His Dad’s house is drastically different from ours, as it lacks discipline and consistent boundaries so I’m wondering whether we can do some things differently to try to make things easier for him. I want to raise a happy, confident more relaxed little boy, as well as one who is well behaved and balanced, but I’m at a loss. What can I do? Pam, London

Your son has been diagnosed with ADHD and is medicated, but what many people don’t know is that separation and anxiety also look like ADHD behaviours.

When you wrote, “He’s constantly asking about his timelines and whom he’ll be with and when,” my eyebrows went up. Because of course he needs structure (every child does), but children who change homes are often in a quietly panicked state. Essentially, whichever parent (your husband or the mum) your son is with, his heart is worrying about when he will see his other parent. It is hard to find peace when you are 6 and you’re constantly worried.

Children are wired to want to be with their parents, and when the system becomes confusing, a child’s brain tries to make sense of it. One of the ways the brain does this is to focus on the next meeting. I am curious to see whether your son’s symptoms started at about age 4 or 5. This is a typical time when a maturing brain will go from having tantrums to having anxiety-like behaviours.

An easy way to help your son is to make clear charts and hang them everywhere he needs to see them. A chart for the week (even if he isn’t there in your home), a chart for the upcoming month, a chart for the next three months. Then you frequently visit the chart before his brain starts to worry. I am not saying it will be a magic trick that will get rid of his anxiety, but it could help him orient himself.

Instead, work with your son and your partner to bring some structure, safety and to help your son know what’s coming to help him feel more at ease so he can feel more relaxed.

Incidentally, if your son talks about how much more fun his Dad’s house is, don’t take the bait. Just listen and nod. The truth is that co-parenting is very, very hard, and often the parent who is doing what is needed is getting the short end of the stick, emotionally speaking.

Setting boundaries, providing structure and keeping a reliable schedule is not sexy. You are not the “fun” parent, but do your best to schedule some fun with him when he is around. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but put it on the chart and get excited about it.

Being a step-parent can be a tough gig, but your influence is important. Stay supportive of your spouse, and take good care of yourself. Good luck.

You may find these articles useful: 

Cooking up a happy step family is like a slow burning casserole!

Understanding The Stepfamily Cycle

Creating a strong step family

Is it time to change the word ‘Broken’ Family?

I also have a recorded webinar on this subject: 

Stepfamilies – Are You Finding it Tough to Blend?

positive parent daily workout ebook

Free ebook, The Positive Parent Daily Workout

Simply enter your details below to get your very own copy of “The Positive Parent Daily Workout” and learn tips and tricks to use every day with your own children.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Like it? Share it!