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Ask Yourself

* Is living in a Blended Family or a Stepfamily “more than you bargained for?”

* Does step parenting feel like the most challenging and thankless job of all?

* Is the tension and conflict taking its toll on your relationships

* Are you becoming worried about your children and their well-being?

* Are you constantly arguing with your partner about the kids, discipline and parenting in general?

• Is your ex or your partner's ex causing real problems in your blended family and in your relationship

• Are you at the end of your rope and need some answers NOW

* Are you considering entering into a Blended Family or Stepfamily and want to be prepared?

Prevailing Myths

In any stepfamily or blended family, to at least some degree, there exist prevailing and unrealistic expectations of what the family can be, quite often at the expense of the new stepparent. These place enormous strain and pressure on individuals and the new marriage or partnership in general. The three we chose to highlight focus on the hope that most parents have for their children and their life together in a stepfamily or blended family situation, that the new person (stepparent) will come in, love their children automatically, make everything better, and as a result, everyone will live happily ever after.

In fact what happens, is usually the opposite, leaving parents disappointed in their new spouse and stepparents feeling frustrated, put upon and that somehow they've failed in their role. These unrealistic expectations which cannot possibly be met by any step parent, are a contributing factor to yet another prevalent myth about stepfamilies, The Wicked Stepmother. The idea of the wicked stepmother exists in many cultures. This is a myth which needs to be debunked if we really want to support women in their challenging roles as step moms.

Simply acknowledging these myths or false beliefs for what they are can save everyone a great deal of heartache and enable parents and stepparents alike to be realistic and move on in their new lives together with a reasonable set of expectations for their family.

Watch Out for These Myths
(captured in phrases coined by the Step Family Foundation, Inc.)

Full Acknowledgement given to Jeanette Lofas, PhD, LCSW, Founder and President of the Stepfamily Foundation Inc, headquartered in New York City. www.stepfamily.org  

 

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