Friday, December 25, 2015
Christmas can be a joyous time for many but it can also exacerbate these challenges for step families and remarrying couples that need to be managed carefully.
It may be useful to work through the following myths with your couple or your partner. Read through these common myths, noticing if any of them resonate."
Managing Stepfamilies at Christmas can be challenging: Choosing Realistic Expectations | PREPARE/ENRICH Australia:
The ones that help kids are generally healthy decisions by two adults who realize they are no longer a good match for each other or for their children as married parents.
The ones that hurt are remembered by adult children of divorced parents and tend to remain unresolved in the adults' minds.
Divorced parents new to the ambiance of divorce situations would do well to learn from the mistakes of others.
The resolutions below are offered to help create family situations that are truly in the best interest of the children involved."
Top 10 Difficult New Year's Resolutions for Divorced Parents | Laurie Hollman, Ph.D.:
Changing holiday traditions, new family members and in-laws, and more activities to coordinate all have the potential to cause stress and conflict, but they don’t have to.
Follow the tips below for a stress-free holiday season."
Holiday Tips for Stepfamily Sanity - MCCS:
Friday, December 18, 2015
Are your boyfriend’s kids from another marriage seems like a hindrance to you?
Becoming a stepmother is far from the dream of any single woman, most would prefer a fresh start with their spouse while some would desire to enjoy their partnership first before deciding to have kids.
But accepting someone even his past and his family is actually loving everything about the person.
This is basically why most women decide to become a dutiful stepmother to their spouse’s kids.
Stepmom's Guide: How to Become a Good Stepmother
Sunday, September 6, 2015
Blending families can be challenging, and reasons are many and varied. The National Step Family Resource Center points out that all step families begin with a history of loss. Step families form because previous relationships have ended.
Such a significant loss can bring on feelings of sadness, anger and fear, and many times members of a blended family may enter into the new situation on edge, guarding themselves against the possibility of experiencing that kind of loss all over again.
In addition, the very formation of step families creates “insiders” and “outsiders,” according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. In traditional families, relationships are more fluid. Family members feel closer to each other depending on experiences.
Saturday, September 5, 2015
When I was growing up there was no such thing as a "blended" family.
There was still a strong social stigma attached to divorce and I dare say plenty of people felt trapped in a marriage they could not leave.
While there was no white picket fence around the comfortable four-bedroom house in the cul-de-sac where my family lived, there was no divorce or separation either.
There was me, my two sisters and our parents. Mum and Dad were married 42 years till his death.
It was all very middle-class and conservative. Dad earned the dough and he was the boss. Mum ran the house and organised us kids. Sure, there were arguments and fallouts and us kids got whacked when we stepped out line. But that was the done thing.
Friday, September 4, 2015
Family relationships are an important factor in psychological health. Staff at Bethesda are dedicated to supporting and strengthening all aspects of the family unit and provide counselling for marriage and relationship problems, parenting challenges, blended families, FIFO families and those experiencing the pain and grief of separation or divorce.
Services are also available to support adolescents who are struggling with issues of low self-esteem, depression, grief and loss, drug/alcohol abuse, self-harm and/or anger. Individual, couples and family sessions are all available and are designed to help and support individuals within the family and to develop and support the relational strengths within the family unit itself.
We want to help each and every stepparent build a better relationship with their stepkids by providing guidance on how to create more moments of connection, fun, and shared interests.
Each week during the 52 Week Build a Better Relationship Challenge you will be sent an email outlining a small step you can take to strengthen your relationship with your stepchild. We’ve created the challenge to help you create more positive moments in your relationship with your stepchildren and to help you learn how to overcome the obstacles that regularly occur in stepfamily life.
Monday, August 31, 2015
Perhaps the most important task in creating a happy stepfamily is building individual relationships.
Stepmothers and fathers can build trust and respect by developing a warm and involved relationship with children before becoming involved in discipline.
Spending one-on-one time without the demands of other people helps with direct communication.
Doing fun activities together – such as taking a walk or a bike ride, going on a special outing, going shopping or teaching a new skill – can show children the step-parent’s good qualities.
This sort of time together shows children their step-parent cares about them, not just their parent.
One of the most important aspects of any relationship is trust and for someone who is a step parent or about to become one, this is an area where they would need to work on.
At the centre of a relationship like this are children who have been introduced to someone new who will be living with them from now on.
For the new family network to function there has to be a lot of work done in order to produce trust from and to the step parents.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5747787
As a step parent, you have your role cut out for you. You know already that you may have to earn the love and trust of your step children before being accepted as part of the family.
This no doubt could be a bit daunting because sometimes, you never know whether you are doing the right thing or not by them.
The age group of the step children play a large part in the process of building a strong step family unit.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/5747632
Saturday, August 29, 2015
In the case of all challenges faced by step-parents, the key is not to expect things to happen too quickly – getting to know other people can take years and you can’t hurry the process.
Both partners are doing something new and it can help if you can work out a strategy for the role each partner will play.
Introducing gradual changes in day-to-day living can help ease the new family into place and make the transition for children much easier.
Friday, August 28, 2015
Before that, I was the girlfriend with no children of my own, trying to figure that whole dating-a-single-dad thing. Each situation provided me with a different perspective.
I've listed some key things I've learned based on my experiences. Since every situation is unique, a copy and paste approach to any relationships simply won't work.
Thus, this is not a "how to" list, it's more of a list of suggestions.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Sadly sometimes a family is split up. Maybe the mum and dad decide to live apart. Maybe the mum or the dad dies.
After a time, the mum or dad may start a new relationship.
That may lead to the child having not just a 'new' mum or dad, but perhaps a whole new family, because the new parent in the kid's life may have kids of his or her own too.
This is having a stepfamily.
The kids are not natural brothers and sisters, they are stepsiblings (sibling is a word we can use which means a brother or sister).
In books, ballets, films and folklore, stepfamily life has a terrible press and is often misrepresented as second best.
But it's not all divided loyalties and power struggles.
Pre-teens raised in stepfamilies have access to a larger extended family and maybe even another language or culture.
An only child may have brothers and sisters for the first time.
You fall in love and decide you want to be together - but the decision isn't just about you and him. One - maybe both - of you have children from a previous relationship. In the early days of getting to know each other, it's easy to ignore the impact this will have on all your lives.
But as soon as you know it's serious, your relationship seems to recede into the background. You start to grapple with other issues: you may want to spend your time getting to know all about him; instead you have to start by getting to know his children.
There'll probably be an ex-partner still on the scene, who may be downright hostile to your good intentions. The children themselves may be confused, angry or frightened, unwilling or unable to share you with their parent.
Tuesday, August 25, 2015
By Kindle Customer on September 10, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
This book is AMAZING!
If you are a new stepmother (or soon will be) you absolutely NEED this book!
It details EVERYTHING you need to know to become the best stepmom you can be.
From bonding, to setting realistic expectations, to overcoming doubts and fears THIS BOOK HAS IT ALL!
If you are struggling to fit in with your new family, this book could be the one thing that changes your life forever.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
The American family has gotten pretty complicated. Two in five marriages are remarriages, according to the Pew Research Center, and since 1980 the number of people who have been married more than once has nearly doubled. That means we have many more stepparents, half-siblings and step-nieces than ever before.
Many of these big families are happy ones. But when the parents die, blended families can also be prone to fierce fights over money, especially if Stepdad or Stepmom was loaded.
Wednesday, July 8, 2015
I recently previewed a series of books as a potential texts to use with step families in crisis. The least informative of these books was "Happily Remarried" by David and Lisa Frisbie. Although the book was inherently readable and certainly got a few good points across--it was completely inadequate to deal with the complexities many step families face.
If your step family is dealing with serious issues I recommend "Smart Step Family" by Ron Deal or "Step Coupling" by Susan Wisdom and Jennifer Green. You will find either of these books to be far more comprehensive and useful, although each one has its own strengths.
The "Smart Step Family" is a book written from a strong Christian perspective and as such provides significant spiritual and biblical background for people of faith. "Step Coupling" approaches the step family more from a secular counseling context and therefore does not delve much into the moral or ethical aspects of the various issues facing step families.
Indeed, when discussing a foundational issue like honesty or dishonesty, the "Step Coupling" book explicitly states that neither value is right or wrong. This was almost a deal-breaker for me. I suspect that even most non-religious people would struggle with the idea that all behavior is value neutral.
Nevertheless, the book largely arrives at the same conclusions as its Christian counterpart--albeit from a different perspective.
All in all, I think that any step family going through internal or external struggles would be well served to read both books. Both bring unique and significant insights into the challenges that step families face.
The "Step Coupling" book is somewhat more earthy and easy to read, being filled with concrete examples from actual step families.
The "Smart Step Family" book feels a little more detached, but still does a very good job of communicating the key issues that step families need to address, while acknowledging the spiritual needs of those involved and how to address them.
In this sense, it is perhaps the deeper of the two. Either book will do a good job in helping the step family better understand itself and move toward a more fulfilling future together.
The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
Leading stepfamily expert Ron Deal offers a revised and expanded edition of his signature resource, which addresses key concerns and practical issues facing every stepfamily.
The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family: Ron L. Deal, Gary Chapman: 9780764212062: Amazon.com: Books
Saturday, June 13, 2015
The Smart Stepfamily Participant's Guide: An 8-Session Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily
By Ron L. Deal
Average customer review:
(7 customer reviews)
Get the Most out of The Smart Stepfamily
Discover the key steps to building a healthy family with stepfamily expert Ron L. Deal. This interactive workbook is guaranteed to help you benefit from The Smart Stepfamily book and DVD. It includes:
· discussion questions for before and after each DVD session
· space to take notes
· bonus question-and-answer section
· group leader instructions
· guidelines for facilitating effective groups
Through eight engaging sessions, you'll learn useable solutions for everyday living and glean valuable insight and practical tips for becoming a smart stepfamily.
Ideal for small groups, premarital counseling, or personal study. Use withThe Smart Stepfamily book (Revised and Expanded Edition) and Small-Group DVD Resource.
"The most highly practical program I know on this topic."
--Gary Chapman, PhD, author of the New York Times bestselling book The Five Love Languages
Friday, April 17, 2015
"My husband and I started out unsure of starting all over again. When you have kids, it's definitely a gamble in many ways," she told The Huffington Post. "Since then, we've learned tricks for disciplining as a team and a bond has definitely grown."
Below, the mom shares what she's learned from almost five years of blended family life.
Friday, January 2, 2015
Rhiannon Delesio is a smart, successful, well-meaning wife-to-be who wants nothing more than a happy family.
So why does she feel like a bungling, hysterical, totally conflicted idiot the second she marries a man with two kids?
Filled with humor and brutal honesty, You Knew He Had Kids When You Married Him is a poignant, not-to-be-missed exploration of the stepmothering experience today: all the turbulent emotions, societal nitpicking, and marital tensions that can scarcely be imagined by those who haven’t been there. First in the Society of Stepmothers series, this deeply validating novel celebrates the power of stepmom friendships and the strength of all those who take on the task of helping to raise another’s children.