Among divorced couples, more than 50 percent are parents; and many if not most of them will remarry. An overwhelming number of adults in our society have chosen to become step-parents. This book assumes that no matter who you are, and how much experience you've had with kids, becoming a step-parent, sometimes called the "blending of families," is difficult work.
The book presents 8 Strategies, in the form of action steps, to maximize anyone's chances of success in this challenging endeavor.
The authors are a married couple, and partners in their own blended family. They have also worked with hundreds of clients over twenty-three years in their counseling practices.
"Being responsible for the day-to-day physical, emotional and spiritual care of someone else's children takes a lot of guts," they assert, it takes "persistence, optimism, focus, and love for your new partner, enough to commit yourself to his or her children."
Use this book to discover how to:
* create a "parenting partnership"
* move beyond resentment of or competition with the former spouse
* examine and work with your unrealistic expectations about yourself and your kids
* build new and happy memories with your step-children, while respecting their old ones
* use the "Family Hierarchy Ladder" to resolve many problems before they show up
* get the help you need when "things" or people break down.
8 Strategies for Successful Step-Parenting is written in a non-apologetic voice, offering strong and specific direction to address current problems-including:
* how to create a Behavior-Consequence program with children who are acting out, and
* how to anticipate areas of conflict and confusion, like where to live and how to assign bedrooms to kids, as some live-in permanently and some visit regularly.
Vignettes of 30 real-life family situations support the strategies suggested. Issues and examples are applicable cross-culturally, and address needs of both men and women. This book will empower readers to take up their new challenge with common sense, firmness and compassion; but most of all, with greater self-knowledge-the best strategy for success in any important task. And, as they assert, step-parenting is not only important, it is life-altering.