With around half of all marriages ending in divorce and more and more couples having children out of wedlock, stepfamilies are becoming as common as traditional families. In fact, today more Americans are part of a second marriage family than a first. (Shimberg, 1999) But stepfamilies are not just a different version of the traditional family. They face their own unique challenges.

If I could go back in time and do it all over again, I’d start by reading everything I possibly could about stepfamilies with the idea that all of it could and probably would happen in mine. I’d have a lot of long family talks about expectations and boundaries and probably even involve a counselor who specializes in stepfamily issues to prevent the big issues from causing major problems.”  – A stepparent (ibid, p. 6)

As Dr. Mary Ann Artlip, James Artlip, and Dr. Earl Saltzman write, “Blended families are the most complex form of family structure we have in American society today.” (1993, p. 109) Unfortunately, many adults go into a remarriage or stepparenting situation vastly underestimating the challenges they’ll face. Because of this, they end up blindsided by problems that wind up being much worse than they expected (and worse than it needed to be). Knowing what to prepare for and what to expect ahead of time is key to making your new stepfamily work.

Information on stepfamilies

Please take advantage of all the free resources we provide below. But if you’re just starting a new stepfamily or are dealing with problems that are already coming to fruition, you absolutely need our stepfamily e-book, which contains our complete information on stepfamilies and is loaded with valuable advice that you can’t get online. It’s just $4.99 (far cheaper than another divorce), and all proceeds from your purchase go towards helping kids in need. Whatever you decide, best of luck in your stepfamily adventure!

Part 1:
Getting to know the American stepfamily

Chapter 1: The challenges involved

  • Stepfamily statistics
  • Stepfamily problems & the challenges involved
  • The evil stepmother
  • The bratty, misbehaved stepchild
  • Successful blended families

 

Chapter 2: Planning ahead for a successful remarriage

  • Remarriage
  • Meeting your partner’s children
  • Telling the kids that you’re getting married
  • Marrying with children
  • Planning a honeymoon with children

 

Chapter 3: Making your second marriage work (e-book)

Learn the secrets to a successful remarriage. This bonus chapter outlines the difference between successful second marriages and unsuccessful ones, and provides step by step instructions on how to bring these elements into your own marriage.

Chapter 4: Starting a stepfamily

  • Starting a stepfamily
  • Stepfamily living arrangements
  • The stepfamily checklist
  • Making your blended family work

 

Chapter 5: Learning to live together (e-book)

This e-book chapter provides helpful advice on learning to live with one another. Get tips that will make the adjustment to a new stepfamily situation go a whole lot smoother for you and your kids.

Chapter 6: Stepfamily relationships

  • Stepfamily relationships
  • Approaching stepfamily relationships with the right attitude in mind (e-book)
  • Pre-emptive strikes: Addressing fears that get in the way of a positive relationship (e-book)
  • Meeting the other parent (e-book)
  • Dealing with the ex
  • Dealing with grandparents
  • Step-grandparenting: A guide for new stepgrandparents
  • When relatives reject a stepchild (e-book)

 

Chapter 7: Stepfamily conflict

  • Stepfamily conflict
  • Arguments & conflict over money (e-book)
  • Dealing with everyday irritations (e-book)
  • Handling everyday disputes with the ex or their family (e-book)
  • Stepfamily counseling

 

Part 2: Parenting in stepfamilies

Chapter 8: An introduction to stepparenting

  • Parenting in stepfamilies
  • Family meeting ideas for stepfamilies (eBook)
  • Bonding games for stepfamilies (eBook)
  • Stepparenting
  • Becoming a step-parent
  • Understanding your stepchildren
  • Common step-parenting mistakes
  • Getting started on the right track (eBook)
  • Dealing with stepchildren
  • Dealing with teenage stepchildren
  • Stepparenting advice
  • Earning your stepchild’s respect (eBook)
  • Stepparenting & school issues (e-book)
  • Stepparent rights & privileges
  • Stepchild adoption
  • Stepparent  custody & visitation rights

 

Chapter 9: Bonding with stepchildren

  • Bonding with stepchildren
  • More creative ways to bond with your stepchildren (e-book)
  • What should stepkids call their stepparents? (e-book)
  • The “L” word (e-book)
  • Lightening the mood: Ways to use humor & self-deprecation to bond with your stepchildren (e-book)
  • Showing vulnerability in front of stepkids (e-book)
  • Family rituals that will help you bond as a family (e-book)

 

Chapter 10: Communicating with stepchildren

  • Communicating with stepchildren
  • Talking to stepkids
  • Responding to the different things stepkids say (e-book)

 

Chapter 11: When kids complain about rules or play parents against one another (eBook)

Whenever kids split time between households, you can be assured that they’re going to compare one home to the other and try to use discrepancy to their advantage. This bonus chapter discuses how you should respond to such comparisons.

 

Chapter 12: Disciplining stepkids

  • Disciplining stepchildren
  • How to discipline stepkids
  • Punishing stepchildren
  • Forming a united front (e-book)
  • Creative ways to discipline stepchildren (e-book)

 

Chapter 13: Avoiding power struggles with stepchildren (eBook)

Power struggles are a common part of stepparent-stepchild relationships. Learn who it’s so common for stepchildren and stepparents to butt heads and how you can avoid power struggles.

Chapter 14: Conflict with stepchildren

  • Stepchild-stepparent conflict
  • How to avoid negative patterns of interaction (e-book)
  • Avoid kicking a child when they’re down (e-book)
  • Dealing with hostility & verbal abuse (e-book)

 

Chapter 15: Problems with stepkids and common stepfamily problems

  • Problems with stepchildren
  • General ways of dealing with stepfamily problems (eBook)
  • The conflict triangle (eBook)
  • Stepkids refusing to let you get close (eBook)
  • Jealousy issues in the family (e-book)
  • When stepchildren treat you like an outsider who doesn’t belong (eBook)
  • Dealing with ungrateful stepchildren (eBook)
  • Words of encouragement for stepparents (e-book)

 

Chapter 16: Visiting stepkids (e-book)

Many stepfamilies deal with visiting stepkids who split their time between one home and the other, or stepchildren who come for the weekend and then leave. This can present challenges of its own. Learn how to better manage these arrangements to avoid problems.

Chapter 17: Stepsibling relationships

  • Stepsibling relationships
  • Stepsibling rivalry & jealousy
  • Fighting between stepchildren
  • Bullying among stepsiblings

 

Chapter 16: Sexual Tension in stepfamilies (eBook)

Because blended families combine unrelated children and adults, sexual feelings are more likely to occur in stepfamily situations. It’s quite common for sexual attraction to arise between stepsiblings or step children and stepparents (or visa versa). Learn how to address things like sex between stepbrother and stepsisters and how the invisible hand of sexuality might be contributing to family conflict.