The blending of families is a common and yet challenging task. The days of the nuclear family, exempt from divorce, appears less normative in our current society. These changes in our family system pose a complex set of transitional difficulties.
Parents in stepfamilies need to help their relatives try to view the world from the kids’ point of view. Keep reminding your parents that their stepgrandchildren really want to feel included.
When Bill and I first formed our stepfamily, I had many fantasies about how our family would behave like the “Brady Bunch” over the holidays—a happy, harmonious unit. Then reality struck, and we couldn’t even agree on how to decorate the Christmas tree! Ultimately, we created a “his” side with multi-colored, blinking lights and tinsel-and a “hers” side with hand-painted eggs and popcorn strings. Seven years later, I can tell you that trying to create a “Brady Bunch” holiday sets stepfamilies up for failure. Instead, I suggest you follow these tips…
With the arrival of summer, stepfamilies across the U.S. are gearing up for visits from stepchildren. Often, a child who lives with her mother will spend some or all of the summer with Dad, Stepmom and their family, says Susan Wisdom, co-author of the book Stepcoupling and a licensed professional counselor in Portland, Ore. who specializes in stepfamilies.
Are you contemplating blending two families together? Are you planning on marrying someone with children? If so, check out these ideas. They just may help you create a more satisfying and nurturing blended family.
Three years ago, when John and Julie Smith fell in love and decided to marry they wanted to know what they could do to ease the transition of their marriage on their children. Each had 2 biological children of their own, ranging in age from 8 to 16 and John and Julie knew that getting the families together could be challenging.
If you are in a step family and struggling for some sense of family identity, don’t despair. You can enhance your feeling of togetherness with the use of family rituals and traditions.
With the high incidence of divorce and changing patterns of families in the United States, there are increasing numbers of stepfamilies. New stepfamilies face many challenges. As with any achievement, developing good stepfamily relationships requires a lot of effort. Stepfamily members have each experienced losses and face complicated adjustments to the new family situation.