Saturday, September 17, 2016

The stepfamily defined

The traditional definition of a stepfamily presumes that children live full-time within a particular household.

For example, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines stepfamilies as “…those formed when parents re-partner following separation, and where there is at least one step child of either member of the couple present.” (ABS, 2003: 6).

The problem with such a definition is that it fails to recognise the changing pathways that lead to stepfamilies in modern Australia, where stepparent-child relationships often cross household boundaries (Qu & Weston, 2005).

For example, this definition fails to include families in which children reside in the household part-time, or stepfamilies where the non-resident parent has re-partnered (Qu & Weston, 2005).

An additional problem is the use of confusing terminology. For example, ‘blended family’ is often used as a pseudonym for ‘stepfamily’.

On the other hand, the ABS makes a distinction between stepfamily and blended family: a blended family contains a stepchild, but also a child born to both parents (ABS, 2003).

One New Zealand study used refinements of the term – a ‘partial blended family’ comprised children of one parent only and a ‘full blended family’ had children of both parents.

Children born to the couple were not included in the definition (Dharmalingam, Pool, Sceats & Mackay, 2004, p. 72).

Other terms used to describe families are reconstituted, remarried, repartnered, merged, instant or synergistic instead of stepfamily, and ‘social parent’ may be used instead of stepparent.

SAVI considers a useful definition of stepfamily to be inclusive, making no distinction about gender, residence or amount of contact with children, and focusing on its unique structure.

SAVI defines a stepfamily as a family of two adults in a formal or informal marriage where at least one of the adults has children from a previous relationship. There may be children from the current union.

Children may live-in full-time or part-time or may not currently have contact. This definition does not distinguish between dependent and independent children.

Friday, September 2, 2016

I love him, but not his kids - My wiki

Alex Thomas is rather different to many other stepmothers for one
simple reason: she is prepared to confess to the extent of her feelings,
or rather, the lack of them, towards her stepchildren.

As she will tell you, the best-kept secret of step-parenting is
that just because you fall for your partner, it doesn't mean you'll take
to their children.

The truth is, you're more likely not to. One wonders why it is such a crime to admit to such a universal reality?

We're not supposed to unconditionally love our partner's parents,
after all, so why should their offspring be a different matter?

As step-families are the fastest-rising family form we have, why
is it so difficult to admit to the ambivalence so many of us experience


I love him, but not his kids - My wiki:  

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Addressing the Challenges of Stepfamily Life

This exploratory study sought to identify the major challenges of stepfamily life and the strategies that families use to address these challenges.

Parents, stepparents and older stepchildren from a community sample of 44 stepfamilies who had been together for at least five years participated in the study.

Measures of several aspects of family functioning indicated that most stepfamilies in the study were functioning well, although some were facing significant stressors that were negatively affecting family functioning.


Saturday, July 16, 2016

Common Step Family Problems

“Yours, mine and ours” makes for an amusing movie plot, but it doesn’t assure a harmonious home. With so many different kinds of families these days, you would think we’d know how to make it work, but we don’t.

It’s a challenge to be a stepparent, no matter how good your intentions are. Maybe we’ve seen too many “wicked stepmother” stories that there’s an assumption of the stepparent as being the enemy. As soon as a new “parent’ arrives in the family, the children start carving out territory.

Then the adults get in on the act. Before long, the battle lines are drawn. As the kids struggle to defeat the stepparent, their biological parent is emotionally torn between kids and new spouse.


Friday, July 15, 2016

Marriage Done Right: Step-families and 'The Brady Bunch' myth

First, the bad news: Nearly half (about 45 percent) of marriages are remarriages. Second marriages have a higher divorce rate than first marriages (about 60 percent).

And, despite what you may think from "The Brady Bunch," if children are involved, the divorce rate in second marriages is 50 percent higher than for those without children.

Now, the good news: If you are in a step-family, there are some things you can do to greatly improve your chances of success. For the next few weeks we will be looking at the issue of step-families and some tips on how to help them work.

Ron Deal, in his book, "The Smart Step-Family," points out several realities that most couples who remarry overlook. Before we look at what couples can do to improve their chances in a step-family setting, it's important to understand four of the most common unrealistic expectations many couples cling to as they approach marriage for the second time.

Read more...—myth


How to Find Stepfamily Harmony

Stepfamilies are the fastest growing type of family in the UK, but in many ways they represent the wild west of family life. There are no clear rules, very little advice and few good role models (especially in fairy tales).

I found this out for myself both as a psychologist studying stepmothers and personally, when I met my now husband, who had an 18-month-old son from his previous marriage, while I had a three-year-old son and a daughter aged six. I went into these new circumstances thinking - ‘I’m already a mum, how hard can it be?’


Monday, July 11, 2016

The Smart Stepdad: Steps to Help You Succeed

The Smart Stepdad: Steps to Help You SucceedAs a stepdad, you've taken on a heroic challenge. Leading stepfamily expert Ron Deal equips you to navigate the stepparenting minefield with
· Everyday advice on how to connect with your stepchildren, be a godly role model, and maintain a strong bond with your wife
· Perspective on what the kids are going through--and why things don't work the same as in a biological family
· Wisdom for handling tricky issues such as discipline, dealing with your wife's ex, and hugging your stepdaughter
Two chapters for your wife to read and tips for her throughout the book will help the two of you work as a team. This is the survival guide that every stepfather needs to succeed.

About the Author
Ron is a marriage and family author, speaker, and therapist. He is Founder and President of Smart Stepfamilies and Director of Blended Family Ministries for FamilyLife

The Smart Stepdad: Steps to Help You Succeed

Saturday, July 9, 2016

An Open Letter to Anyone Dealing With Our Blended Family : Tips and Steps

An Open Letter to Anyone Dealing With Our Blended Family : Tips and Steps

First of all, I want to say thank you.

Thank you for accepting our beautiful patchwork family as we are.

Thank you for all the love and support you have given and will give.

Thank you for being there from the beginning, and walking with us through to the end.

We wouldn’t be here without you.

that we are learning more about our unique family and its challenges,
there are a few things that will help us that we would like you to know:

Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended Family

Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended FamilyLove may be sweeter the second time around, but once the bliss of a newfound relationship wears off a little, the reality of being part of a stepfamily sets in. If you are one of the millions of remarried Americans facing the challenge of blending two existing families into one cohesive whole, you are part of a stepcouple—and you know all too well how hard it can be to make your marriage work in sometimes tough terrain.

Different parenting styles, finances, relationships with ex-spouses, legal matters, and even seemingly simple issues such as the kinds of chores assigned to children can chisel away at your union if you don’t always make your marriage a priority.

Stepcoupling offers advice for stepcouples on how to do just that—all the while strengthening their blended family with a healthy marriage. Susan Wisdom and Jennifer Green provide tips and strategies on dealing with the issues remarried couples face, with a wealth of advice from real-life stepcouples, such as:

* Learning to tailor your expectations of your spouse or children and remembering that no family is perfect
* Knowing where your boundaries are, whether involving a hostile ex-spouse or a stepchild who demands too much attention
* Realizing that traits like flexibility, tolerance, forgiveness, and openness are especially essential in a stepfamily situation
* Making “us” time for talking, problem-solving, weekends away, and enjoying your marriage to constantly renew and strengthen your bond as a couple

Click here to Read more

Monday, July 4, 2016

This Is Hands Down The Biggest Challenge In A Blended Family

This Is Hands Down The Biggest Challenge In A Blended Family : Tips and Steps:

What have been some of the biggest challenges you've encountered as a stepparent so far?

Communication is hands down the biggest challenge in blended family life.

I would say about 95 percent of the issues that result from co-parenting and blended families are related to a communication error.

When there's other parents, you need to have strong communication or everything else will fall apart.

There was one time when I was trying to be helpful by picking up the kids early on a Sunday.

I wasn't aware that it was their stepdad's birthday.

The kids' biological mom Stephanie thought my husband knew.

Stephanie assumed I knew this as well and thought I was trying to be rude and ruin their plans.

This caused a huge fight. All that would of been avoided if we all communicated with each other.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

CoParenting Tips for StepMoms

As women, we are supposed to be nurturers.
We are supposed to love children and know exactly what to do in every given situation, right?
But as any woman who has experienced stepmotherhood knows, there is a lot more to it.
It's complicated. Coparenting with our partner / husband, along with this children's mother...and sometimes even with extended family members...well, the coparenting gig can get a little tricky.

CoParenting Tips for StepMomsBeing a stepmom can be an incredible experience.
It can also lead to incredible heartache.
From the blissful ignorance of the early days of love and having an "insta-family" to the frustration of dealing with parental alienation and the Disneyland Dad syndrome...this book provides tips and first hand experiences of other stepmoms to help you navigate the murky waters of being a stepmom (or perhaps more of a "friend") to your stepchildren.

CoParenting Tips for StepMoms was written from the unique perspective of a child of divorce (and seeing how her mother handled stepmotherhood, and how her father's new wife handled being a stepmom), and wife of a man with two adult daughters.

CoParenting Tips for StepDads

Men are typically "fixers." Give them a problem and they'll fix it or do whatever they can to try and do so. But any man who has become a stepdad knows there are no easy fixes in stepfamily situations.
It's complicated. Coparenting with your partner / wife, along with exes...and sometimes even with extended family members...well, the coparenting gig can get a little tricky.
CoParenting Tips for StepDadsThis book provides tips and first hand experiences of other stepdads to help you navigate the murky waters of being a stepdad to your stepchildren. 

CoParenting Tips for StepDads was written from the unique perspective of a child of divorce, a woman who is married to a stepdad.
After writing CoParenting Tips for StepMoms, Tina realized that there was a need for a book for StepDads as well. 

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got Married

"Most people spend far more time in preparation for their vocation than they do in preparation for marriage,” No wonder the divorce rate hovers around fifty percent.
Bestselling author and marriage counselor, Gary Chapman, hopes to change that with his newest book. Gary, with more than 35 years of counseling couples, believes that divorce is the lack of preparation for marriage and the failure to learn the skills of working together as intimate teammates.
Things I Wish I'd Known Before We Got MarriedSo he put together this practical little book, packed with wisdom and tips that will help many develop the loving, supportive and mutually beneficial marriage men and women long for. It’s the type of information Gary himself wished he had before he got married.
This is not a book simply to be read. It is a book to be experienced. The material lends itself to heart-felt discussions by dating or engaged couples. To jump-start the exchanges, each short chapter includes insightful “Talking it Over” questions and suggestions. And, the book includes information on interactive websites as well as books that will enhance the couples experience.
Dr. Chapman even includes a thought-provoking appendix. By understanding and balancing the five key aspects of life, dating couples can experience a healthy dating relationship. A revealing learning exercise for dating couples is included at the end.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts : Tips and Steps

Using the same structure as Saving Your Marriage Before It Starts, Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott address the unique issues of "pre-remarital" families.
This book prepares couples for what lies ahead and enables them to tackle the challenges with faith, perseverance, and hope.
Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts: Nine Questions to Ask Before -- and After -- You RemarrySixty percent of second marriages fail.
Yours can be among the ones that succeed.
Relationship experts Les and Leslie Parrott show how you can beat the odds with flying colors and make remarriage the best thing that’s ever happened to you.
Do you have the skills you need?
Now is the time to acquire them--and build a future together that is everything marriage can and ought to be.


This book is a major new study into one of the fastest growing family formations in the Western World  - stepfamilies.
Drawing on recent developments within the sociology of family life, it provides an analysis of the extent of family connection and solidarity within different stepfamily networks.
Stepfamilies (Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life)In contrast to much research on stepfamilies, its focus is not only on issues of stepfamily organization within households when children are young.
Rather it examines how stepfamily relationships develop and change across different life phases, in the process considering relationships across as well as within particular households.
In this its approach is to focus on 'family as kinship' as much as 'family as household'.
The analysis in the book is developed through a series of case studies of people's stepfamily experiences which are used to explore how the construction of family connection develops within different stepfamily relationships.

Stepfamilies (Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life)

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blending Families : Tips and Steps

Even under the best of circumstances, marriage in a blended family is challenging.
From parenting to ex-spouses to past hurts, couples face many obstacles.
In Blending Families, eighteen successful stepfamilies will show you how theyve learned to overcome their everyday challenges.
Blending FamiliesWhether youve been married for years or just preparing for the journey,Blending Families is the essential resource to help you breakthrough and have a successful family that will thrive for years to come.
Jimmy Evans is Founder and CEO of MarriageToday, a ministry that is devoted to helping couples thrive in strong and fulfilling marriages and families.
Jimmy and his wife Karen co-host MarriageToday with Jimmy and Karen, a nationally syndicated television program which is broadcast daily into over 110 million homes in America and more than 200 countries worldwide