The Gray Divorce Podcast: Episode 42 Coaching Stepparents at all Stages of Life with Maria Natapov

Andrew Hatherley |

In Episode 42 of The Gray Divorce Podcast, Andrew chats with Stepparenting Coach Maria Natapov. Maria draws from her personal experience as both a stepchild and a stepparent to help her clients confidently blend their families.  

Andrew and Maria discuss the wide variety of blended family experiences, from a young stepparent in his/her 30s being introduced to their new partner’s young child to a newly remarried divorcee in their 60s being introduced to their new partner’s adult children. 

Among the topics covered: 

  • Maria discusses her own history as a stepdaughter and stepparent and how it inspired her to help others overcome communication and connection challenges in blending families. 
  • Intercultural and personality issues often present an obstacle in blending families. Maria discusses the metaphor of language. She discusses how existing families have a certain dynamic and way of communicating amongst themselves that may come across as strange or even foreign to the new person, the new stepparent, entering the family. 
  • Blended family dynamics cover so many stages of life and different scenarios that it's difficult to generalize. Maria discusses how her process helps her identify the specific challenges and the unique situations that her clients are going through. 
  • Maria discusses the situation with her older clients where she can incorporate older stepchildren into the coaching process. 
  • When is a good time to introduce the newcomer to the family to the children whether they be 7 years of age or 57 years of age? 


The best way to contact Maria is via her website: