Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tips for a Successful Stepfamily

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Successful-Stepfamilies.pdf Download this file

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Managing Stress in Stepfamilies

Every family experiences stress and encounters problems. Stepfamilies, however, may face unique and complex challenges when problems arise.

This happens, in part, because family members do not have a shared history and have not learned how new family members respond to stress.

Also, the new family may not have learned to work together as a unit in responding to difficulties.

FR_Marriage_2007-03pr.pdf Download this file

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Every family experiences stress and encounters problems. Stepfamilies, however, may face unique and complex challenges when problems arise. This happens, in part, because family members do not have a shared history and have not learned how new family members respond to stress. Also, the new family m ...

What children think about their stepfamily

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Typical Stepfamily Problems

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Building a New Stepfamily

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stepfamilies_nsw.pdf Download this file

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Insights into Stepfamily Life

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Insights into stepfamily life

A man meets a woman. They fall in love. They marry. It’s a story as old as the hills. But when a man meets a woman, and the woman – or the man, or both of them – already have children, it’s not the same story.

SN-InsightsIntoStepfamilyLife.pdf Download this file

 

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Insights into stepfamily life A man meets a woman. They fall in love. They marry. It’s a story as old as the hills. But when a man meets a woman, and the woman – or the man, or both of them – already have children, it’s not the same story. SN-InsightsIntoStepfamilyLife.pdf Download this file   ...

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Female Head of Household

Femalehead
Many of you seemed relieved by the previous post, “Embracing Stepmotherhood”.  It’s nice to know that we stepmothers don’t HAVE to become mothers “extraordinaire” just because we happen to fall in love with and marry a man with children.  Knowing what not to do, however, does not necessarily inform our choices about what we SHOULD do, or what role we DO have.

So what IS the role?  Well, first of all, I invite anyone reading this to come up with a better term than “female head of household”.  Surely, our collective brains can engender more creativity than mine alone.

Next, let’s consider what territory we own.

Read more...

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Many of you seemed relieved by the previous post, “Embracing Stepmotherhood”.  It’s nice to know that we stepmothers don’t HAVE to become mothers “extraordinaire” just because we happen to fall in love with and marry a man with children.  Knowing what not to do, however, does not necessarily inform ...

Female Head of Household

Femalehead
Many of you seemed relieved by the previous post, “Embracing Stepmotherhood”.  It’s nice to know that we stepmothers don’t HAVE to become mothers “extraordinaire” just because we happen to fall in love with and marry a man with children.  Knowing what not to do, however, does not necessarily inform our choices about what we SHOULD do, or what role we DO have.

So what IS the role?  Well, first of all, I invite anyone reading this to come up with a better term than “female head of household”.  Surely, our collective brains can engender more creativity than mine alone.

Next, let’s consider what territory we own.

Read more...

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Many of you seemed relieved by the previous post, “Embracing Stepmotherhood”.  It’s nice to know that we stepmothers don’t HAVE to become mothers “extraordinaire” just because we happen to fall in love with and marry a man with children.  Knowing what not to do, however, does not necessarily inform ...

Stepparenting - SupportNet

Supportnet

Stepfamilies are on the increase and, with much love and hard work, a blended family home can be a happy and positive place to be.

stepparenting_-_supportnet.pdf Download this file

 

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Stepfamilies are on the increase and, with much love and hard work, a blended family home can be a happy and positive place to be. stepparenting_-_supportnet.pdf Download this file   ...

Stepparenting - SupportNet

Supportnet

Stepfamilies are on the increase and, with much love and hard work, a blended family home can be a happy and positive place to be.

stepparenting_-_supportnet.pdf Download this file

 

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - Stepfamilies are on the increase and, with much love and hard work, a blended family home can be a happy and positive place to be. stepparenting_-_supportnet.pdf Download this file   ...

Step-grandparents - being one, having one

I have seven grandchildren. I watch with amusement people’s reactions when I tell them that I have grandchildren blood-related to me, grandchildren blood-related to my husband, and grandchildren that aren’t blood-related to either of us.

When my son announced that he was marrying a single parent with two children, Tony and I realised that we had a choice. Should we accept these children as our grandchildren, or should we treat them differently to our other grandchildren?

No doubt the children’s mother wondered how we might react too. And would the children want two more grandparent figures anyway? And what are the children going to call these new step-grandparents?

Read more...Stepfamily Life

Stepfamily Australia - http://stepfamilyaustralia.posterous.com - I have seven grandchildren. I watch with amusement people’s reactions when I tell them that I have grandchildren blood-related to me, grandchildren blood-related to my husband, and grandchildren that aren’t blood-related to either of us. When my son announced that he was marrying a single parent wit ...

So what is it like to build a stepfamily?

Sally and Keith have been married and building their stepfamily for just ten months. They say they never realised how difficult it was going to be, and how dramatic the changes would be.

“We just focused on the wedding and all the other stuff was overlooked,” Keith admits. “As we had both been married before it was assumed we knew all about it!

“We were asked just two weeks before the wedding if we had forgiven our ex-partners. We said yes, but wondered what would have happened if we had said no! We did discuss a lot of things together, and have now talked to an older couple, and attended a day conference.”

Read more from Life in a Stepfamily

It's hard to know where a step-parent should draw the lines

Last week, after it was revealed that the Australian cricketer Shane Warne's children refer to his fiancée Elizabeth Hurley as "Mummy Two", their birth mother Simone Callahan broke her silence, calling it "disrespectful": "She is not their mum - and the kids know exactly what the situation is."

Eighteen months into Hurley's engagement to Warne, she and Callahan met for the first time recently when all three attended Warne's son's school sports day in Melbourne. Following Callahan's comments last week, Hurley was photographed collecting Warne's youngest daughter, Summer, at the school gates. She was then pictured with her again, at a football match.

I'm surprised it took the former Mrs Warne so long to voice her exception. The thought of my children holding another woman's hand, sitting on her lap, with hugs all round, makes me feel physically sick.

Click here to read the full story

Continue reading It's hard to know where a step-parent should draw the lines

How to Be a Successful Stepfamily

In the United States today, at least one third of all children will live in a step-family before they turn 18.

Step-families, sometimes called blended families, are becoming more typical than ever before. Most step-families will face many lifestyle changes and adjustments as they work out problems and learn to live together successfully.

It takes time for step-family members to truly know one another, develop new traditions and form long lasting emotional bonds.

Read more...

How to Include Your Stepfamily & Siblings in Your Family History Charts

A family tree is a representation of your family history. Having a blended family, a family with members that are not blood related, can make a family tree a challenge if you are unsure where to add them. You have options to add them to your family tree in a way that they will feel appreciated and included in your family. All it takes is pen and paper to start you on your way to creating a family tree that is truly a representation of your family.

How to Include Your Stepfamily & Siblings in Your Family History Charts

A family tree is a representation of your family history. Having a blended family, a family with members that are not blood related, can make a family tree a challenge if you are unsure where to add them. You have options to add them to your family tree in a way that they will feel appreciated and included in your family. All it takes is pen and paper to start you on your way to creating a family tree that is truly a representation of your family.

Divorce to Remarriage: Your Step by Step Guide to Step-Parenting

As many of you are preparing to re-marry, you probably have expectations of what life will be like with your new spouse and new family. You're thinking something along the lines of "happily ever after" perhaps? Sorry to burst your bubble but let's take time out for a quick reality check.

People rarely have a clue what a relationship with a step-child will be like. It's not because we're stupid. It's just that there aren't any guide books for step families. We just assume it's ok to play by biological family rules. This leads to many false assumptions. Today, I'd like to look at some of the most common and present a more realistic view of what you're likely to experience.

1. I get along fine with the children now, so our relationship will only improve once I'm married to their parent.

  • Children view their relationship with you VERY differently once you are married to their parent. Things are permanent now. Any hopes they may have been holding onto about mom and dad reconciling are dead, and you're a part of that death. This quite obviously can cause serious resentment.

2. The kids are only over every other weekend. That shouldn't cause much of a disruption to our home life.

  • Just because a child is over every other weekend, doesn't mean they can't wreak havoc on your home and life. I receive tons of questions from fledgling step-parents struggling with what to do to manage what they view as the "disruption" to their lives when the kids come to visit. It's not that they don't like the kids, it's just that their usual schedule gets turned topsy turvy.

3. My partner loves me, so naturally the kids will too.

  • Nowhere does it say that just because a child's parent loves you, that they have to. Many kids have the opinion that they already have 2 parents and they aren't interested in having any more. Your goal should be for a civil, friendly relationship rather than one full of love. If you get love, great! But, don't count on it.

4. I'm an adult... How tough can it be to win a kid over?

  • It can be VERY difficult to "win over" a step-child. The problem is your attitude. It's really a manipulative one. Rather than "win" them over, the focus needs to be on being present in their lives and slowly trying to build a relationship with them.

5. I won't have to be the "bad guy" with these kids. My spouse will take care of all the discipline.

  • While this SHOULD be the way things go, it rarely does. Most of the time single parents are so happy to have another adult in the house, they expect that person to step in and share the responsibility of discipline.

6. My new spouse will make sure the kids treat me with respect.

  • This is another one that SHOULD happen, but unfortunately a lot of parents are still wrestling with a sense of guilt over breaking up the family. The guilt continues as the parent feels that the children are being forced into a new and different family. A lot of times this guilt plays out by parents not requiring their children to treat the new member of the family (that would be you, by the way) with the respect they deserve.

There are a lot of factors that determine what your relationship with your step-child will look like. Today we looked at the most typical of reactions. Want to find out other differences to expect in a remarriage? If so, I'd like to invite you to visit http://www.RemarriageSuccess.com/e-course.htm to register for our free 5 day e-course focusing specifically on what the differences are.

You can also visit http://www.RemarriageSuccess.com for additional information and resources on how to prepare as a couple and a family for remarriage.

About the Author

Alyssa is a remarriage expert. She specializes in working with divorced families who are planning to remarry.

She provides high quality resources and support to these newly emerging step families. In addition to her website, www.RemarriageSuccess.com, Alyssa provides direct service to clients in person or on the phone.

Retrieved from "http://tipsandsteps.com/Divorce_to_Remarriage:_Your_Step_by_Step_Guide_to_Step-Parenting"

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Parenting Stepchildren - I do not like the word stepmother

I am living with my partner and we recently received total custody of his 13 year old daughter. She has been with us for 11 months. She refuses to speak to her Mother and/or family. "They have done quite a bit of damage".

(Yes, she is seeing someone) Even though her Mother has not been the best, she is still her Mother. I am looking for a name to call myself and for the child to call me. I do not think it is respectful to the Mother if I am called Step Mom. At times (school papers, etc.)

I am suppose to tell what relation I am to her. I am not married to her Father. What am I? Even if I was married to her Father, I do not want to usurp her Mother. Motherhood is to be respected in my book. Yes, I act as her Mother in every way, yet I am not.

The word Step Mother takes away from Mother.

Click here to read the response

Stepparents - How to keep your relationship alive

When you entered into your relationship I'm sure you didn't first fall in love with the children and think 'I must live with these children. I love them! Oh and the dad's not too bad either. I guess I could put up with him'. More likely something else happened.

More likely you fell in love with your partner and the children were your secondary thoughts. You've entered into this family because of him or her, not them.

Is that fair?

In the early stages many stepparents look at the situation with the children as occasional visits and an outing here and there. They're in what I call the 'getting going stage'. It's a sort of fantasy time that many of us go through.

But what happens when that 'high on love' feeling begins to fade?

It doesn't take long for a new stepparent to work things out. It's simple. He's a package deal. The realities of calls from the children's mother, school events and keeping everyone happy during summer holidays soon hits home. And that leaves you with a question.

Who am I in this relationship for?

You're in this relationship because you fell in love. You're in this relationship for your partner. But now there's something new to face. The children are there to stay.

And what does that mean exactly?

It means they're going to be around. It means you might feel pushed out or neglected at times. Weekends, Christmas, Easter, birthdays and those summer breaks, these are the moments you can often find yourself wondering about the complications, the headaches, the bickering between kids, your role, and that biggy: do I really fit in here?

If you haven't been keeping your relationship strong - fresh and alive - you can, during these times, begin to wonder what you're in it for. You might even wonder if you can or want to really stick it out.

But it doesn't need to be that way. Indeed, for lots of stepparents it isn't. Being a stepparent can be very rewarding and enjoyable. If the stepfamily functions well you get time with your partner when they're with their other parent. You get to enjoy your part in the kid's adventures. You get to see these young people grow and develop and become adaptable, flexible, confident and compassionate men and women.

One of the most important ways to prevent yourself from getting to the stage where you're wondering if you can stick it out is to nurture your relationship, keeping it strong and alive.

So here are my top 5 tips for making sure you've got plenty of emotional energy in your relationship to breeze through the tough times.

1. Have a vision. Talk with your partner about your joint vision and dreams for the future. Know where you both want to go and how you'd like life to be.

2. Make plans for the future, whether it be for the next 3 months or 3 years. Have something to look forward to together. A common goal.

3. Give each other compliments spontaneously, especially in front of the children. This shows them how important you are to each other.

4. Book in special time alone together. Make a date to go out or just have a romantic night in. Treat this as a special event and get excited about it.

5. Remind each other regularly about what it is you love about each other. What you appreciate and are grateful for.

Here's a bonus tip!

6. Talk through your worries, and concerns. Don't let things fester. Have lots of open conversations and communicate your needs and listen to his.

You'll be glad you did!

Jo

The Stepfamily Coach

http://www.thestepfamilycoach.com

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Six Steps for Coping With Stepfamily Storms

Six Steps for Coping With Stepfamily Storms
Posted: May 14th, 2012, 2:36pm UTC by Step Parenting with Grace
Tagsstepfamily stepparenting, 

I’m in Dallas this week helping my parents move, so I’m re-posting an article I previously wrote on coping with stepfamily storms.  Over the week-end, we braved severe storms with damaging tornadoes in Central Arkansas. My family and I retreated to our “fraidy hole” more than once to seek protection from our frightful surroundings. As [...]

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Respect the child's relationship with the other parent

Anne Pedro-Carroll is the author of Putting Children First, and a stepmother herself for 30 years.

She says it is especially important to respect the child's relationship with the other parent.

Moving into the role of the child's parent too quickly or pressuring them to refer to you as "Mum" or "Dad" when they already have a parent can create serious problems for everyone.

Simone's more low-key partner, Toby Roberts hits the right note - acknowledging it can be awkward for all sides when a new partner comes on to the scene.

Roberts says Warne had been initially uncomfortable when he became the new man in Simone and the children's lives.

"I'll never be the children's father, and I'm not trying to be. I have a lot of fun with them and if I can be a positive role model then that's a good thing", is the way he looks at it.

Source: Herald Sun

Retrieved from "http://stepfamilymagazine.com/wiki/index.php?title=Respect_the_child%27s_relationship_with_the_other_parent"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Blended Family Advantages & Disadvantages

Blended Family Advantages & Disadvantages | eHow.com

Blended Family Advantages & Disadvantages. A blended family is the active merging of stepfamily members into the family unit. In other words, when a stepfamily enters into another family unit, there is a desire from the parents or grandparents to bring the families together socially. Even if the head of the families has a positive attitude in...

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

How to Resolve Conflict in Blended Families

How to Resolve Conflict in Blended Families | eHow.com

How to Resolve Conflict in Blended Families. A newly blended family faces the challenge of merging personalities that are accustomed to their previous environments. Whether you are becoming the step parent of one or more children, you must establish a solid relationship with each family member on an individual basis. Bringing adults and children...

How to Resolve Conflict in Blended Families | eHow.com

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Bundaberg Queensland - Making Stepfamilies Work - 3 Week Program for Step Parents

Making Stepfamilies Work - 3 Week Program for Step Parents

When: 
14 May 2012 - 6:30pm
21 May 2012 - 6:30pm
28 May 2012 - 6:30pm

Uniting Care Community are holding a Workshop - Making Stepfamilies Work at the UnitingCare Community Centre, 3a River Terrace, Millbank, one evening a week for 3 weeks, commencing on Monday 14 May 2012 from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

Please see attached flyer for further details.

To register your interest phone 4153 8400.

Bookings are essential for the group to commence.

Source

Stepfamily Bundaberg - Stepfamily Queensland

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Attention Stepmoms: Learn from the success and failures of different stepmoms

A book that was written for stepmothers of all ages and all years of experience.

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Common Complaints of Stepmothers

I wish that the stepmothers in my practice could listen in on each other's conversations. If they could, they would see how common it is to feel the way that they do and they might not feel so alone and isolated. So, since I can't let them eavesdrop, I'm listing the most common complaints that I hear. Tune in for more details in the coming weeks.

TOP 5 MOST COMMON COMPLAINTS OF STEPMOTHERS | Psychology Today What are the 5 most common complaints that stepmothers have? By Dr. Joshua Coleman...

What are the top 5 most Common Complaints of Stepmothers

What do you do when you don't like the kids of the man you married?

What do you do when you don't like the kids of the man you married? I married a great guy 3 years ago, love of my life, but his kids drive me up the wall. They're disrespectful to him (not to me yet, but I'm sure that's coming), demanding, and spoiled. Worse, I just don't like them as people. They'll all be out of the home in about 5 years but that's 5 years too long. How do I survive?
Click the link to read more

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

The Courage to be a Stepmom - Kindle Edition

What's the first word that pops into your head when you hear the word "stepmother"? Wicked? Thanks to Cinderella and other popular myths and fairytales, most of us have received powerful, overt, and subliminal messages that all stepmothers are cold, uncaring, evil women.

Despite these antiquated images, stepmoms are regular women who love their husbands, are committed to their marriages, and take the role of caring for their stepchildren very seriously. Acting as chauffeurs, maids, confidantes and punching bags, many stepmothers endlessly try to please everyone in their families-and in the process may exact a heavy toll on themselves. No matter how secure and psychologically sophisticated a woman may be, often the combination of negative stereotypes, unresolved grief, societal pressures, and unrealistic expectations, places her smack in the middle of an "emotional minefield."

In The Courage to be a Stepmom: Finding Your Place Without Losing Yourself, Sue Patton Thoele, a psychotherapist since 1974 and stepmother of twenty-five years, takes an honest, updated look at this huge and growing population of women. Offering practical skills and hands-on advice, she explores the complex emotional labyrinth of stepmothering and prepares stepmoms for the roller-coaster of emotions that often accompanies the role.

The Courage to be a Stepmom is a powerful book that will help thousands of women get a handle on their new families, and their lives. And, while perfect, "instant" families are as fictitious as evil stepmothers, the experiences and advice of Ms. Thoele and the dozens of stepmoms she interviewed help pave the way to harmonious, blended families, and just maybe, a "happily-ever-after" ending.

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Stepfamilies - Wedding Invitation Etiquette

Overall, if the bride and groom wish for the stepparents to be listed on the invitation, they should include them.

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Aussie parents worry about the risk of letting their kids roam free

PARENTS have been told their eight-year-olds are capable of walking to the park alone and staying at home by themselves.

US parenting show host Lenore Skenazy, who sparked worldwide controversy when she admitted letting her nine-year-old ride the New York subway alone, says over-protective parents are taking the fun out of childhood.

Aussie parents worry about the risk of letting their kids roam free | Herald Sun

My Child is Getting Picked On By His Stepsibling

My 12-year-old came home upset (near tears) after a weekend visit with his father. His much older stepsibling has been teasing him, and it's really taking a toll on the kid. My little guy is a "brainiac" who prefers to read and play on the computer rather than play a lot of sports. The sibling is taunting him for this and calling him lazy. My son said, "I feel like I can't be myself there, or I will get picked on." His stepmom is also making little comments and my son is sensitive to all of it. He is more sensitive than they realize.
Read the Answer

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Seven-Year-Old Stepfamily is Still Struggling. What Can I Do?

I have been a custodial stepmom for seven years. I thought it would get easier with time. My husband's ex continues to control him. She seems to come before me. She is a very difficult woman. This is the reason their relationship didn't work. How can I hold onto strength to keep our family together?

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Book Review: Why Real Stepmothers think, feel and act they way they do

When faced with often overwhelming challenges, what woman with stepchildren is unfamiliar with that “stepmonster” feeling? Half of all women in the United States will live with or marry a man with children. To guide women new to this role—and empower those who are struggling with it—Wednesday Martin draws upon her own experience as a stepmother.

She's frank about the harrowing process of becoming a stepmother, she considers the myths and realities of being married to a man with children, and she counteracts the cultural notion that stepmothers are solely responsible for the problems that often develop.

Along the way, she interviews other stepmothers and stepchildren and offers up fascinating insights from literature, anthropology, psychology, and evolutionary biology that explain the little-understood realities of this unique parent-child relationship and—in an unexpected twist—shows why the myth of the Wicked Stepmother is the single best tool for understanding who real stepmothers are and how they feel.

Stepfamily Community - social networking

Tips for Stepfather Raising Stepdaughters

Raising biological children is challenging enough, but when you become a stepfather, forming relationships can be much more difficult. When you first enter your stepdaughter’s life, you can expect a ‘honeymoon’ period, before she may ultimately become distant. This is because the reality of your presence in her life has finally started to settle in. She may not understand why her mother has found a replacement for her father, and may blame you for the major changes she will have to endure. She will need some time, sometimes a lot of time, to come to the realization that you are there to stay. There are many things that a stepfather can do to facilitate the process.

Stepfamily Community - social networking

How to Bond with Stepchildren

Let’s face it – it’s difficult enough to be a parent to your own children, but what about being a stepparent? Research shows that it takes an average of five to seven years for a stepfamily to accept their new roles and have stress levels return to normal. While you can’t speed up the clock on this one, there are proactive steps you can take to bond with your stepchildren. Like most men, you want to take care of your family, and you can only do this by having positive relationships with everyone in the household.

Stepfamily Community - social networking