Tuesday, February 28 , 2017, 3:36 am | Fair 47º


Randi Rabin: Succeeding as a Stepmom; Responding to Comments After Mastectomy

Dear Feelings Doctor: I am happily married to a wonderful man for three years now. I am also a stepmother to his two great kids who I love dearly. My question is: How do I guide these children, love them and do the best I can when their mother constantly tells them that I am the one who broke up their marriage? She is always saying awful things to them about me. Help!

— Cynthia in Santa Barbara

Dear Cynthia: This is your time to shine — with your stepchildren and with their mother. Behavior you do not want to see repeated should be ignored.

The attitudes and words you want to see repeated should be praised and acknowledged. There is a wonderful video and class parents with children of divorce are mandated to attend called “Children in the Middle.” Perhaps everyone should take a refresher course together.

You can also find out their favorite foods that their mother makes, ask her for her recipes, share some things that you both have in common and maybe, just maybe, one day there will be peace on both sides of the fence. It’s a goal worth working toward.

Dear Feelings Doctor: I have recently had a double mastectomy. My girlfriends around me think that I need to have reconstructive surgery to look better and feel better. I feel fine, and I think I look fine, too. What do I say to their comments?

— Keeping a Breast in Santa Barbara

Dear K.B.: Tell them you feel fine, and if they need any help with how they feel about their bodies, perhaps you have suggestions for them as well! Bless you and your courage to keep shining.

Got a question for The Feelings Doctor? Click here to submit a question anonymously.

                                                                        •        •

Imagine This ...

You cannot fix what you won’t talk about. Courage is the most important virtue! There is no blame … there just is.

— Psychotherapist Randi Rabin, M.A., MFTI, answers reader questions in her weekly Noozhawk column, The Feelings Doctor, and can be contacted at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and completed her master’s degree in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute under the guidance of renowned psychologist Stephen Aizenstat, Pacifica’s chancellor and founding president. She has worked as a counselor with a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools. Click here for previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >