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Blended Family Advice: A step-by-step guide to help blended and step families become strong and successful Paperback – October 26, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Blended Family Advice: A step-by-step guide to help blended and step families become strong and successful + Stepcoupling: Creating and Sustaining a Strong Marriage in Today's Blended Family + The Smart Stepfamily: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
Price for all three: $38.92

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 158 pages
  • Publisher: Xlibris (October 26, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1441591109
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441591104
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #483,544 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Shirley Cress Dudley is a licensed professional counselor with a master's degree in marriage and family counseling, and a master's degree in education. She is the founder of The Blended and Step Family Resource Center. Shirley has spent years talking with individuals, couples and families. She is part of her own blended family with her husband Eric, two biological kids, 3 step kids and three dogs. Her passion is to help families and marriages become strong and successful, especially the blended and stepfamilies in the world. Shirley Cress Dudley is a conference speaker, workshop leader and coach. For more information, you can contact Shirley Cress Dudley at Shirley@BlendedFamilyAdvice.com

Customer Reviews

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I can't wait til my husband reads this so we can work on implementing some of the ideas from the book.
LISA
Her advice is also illuminated well with illustrations and question and answers from families seeking help with their blended family problems.
EnnisP
If one of my parents had read this book growing up, then it would have made a world of difference for all 6 of us kids.
Jess W.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jess W. on March 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Growing up I lived in a blended family and it was a trying experience. Although I do not live in a blended family currently, I still wanted to read the book and apply it to my childhood. If one of my parents had read this book growing up, then it would have made a world of difference for all 6 of us kids. I think people often mistake children for not really caring about their childhood, but they do.

I really like this blended family advice book because it takes questions from real parents. Also, it comes from an actual parent who is in the position to give the advice. Although this book is directed towards blended families, I really think that a lot of families can learn from the book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By EnnisP on July 23, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Shirley, the author of Blended Family Advice, is not only a qualified psychologists specializing in marriage and family counseling - with two Masters degree, one in family and marriage counseling and one in education - but also a wife and mother in a blended family. She's lived through the experience. She knows first hand what it takes to blend members from two different families into a secure family group and she honestly and openly provides gems of wisdom from both her academic training and her blended family experience.

Reading through the book it becomes obvious that her advice is good for traditional family units also which means she is not changing the rules. Instead, Shirley is helping blended families navigate the unfamiliar turbulence created when two groups of people, previously unknown to each other, move toward a desirable place: family.

The book is refreshing because Shirley doesn't excuse poor family structure on the challenges of being a blended family. She makes it clear from the start that sound family structure can be maintained in spite of the difficulties. The challenges are different but not impossible to deal with and the solutions she provides enable blended families to achieve the same stability as traditional ones. She provides copious amounts of "how to" instructions for many different scenarios.

Shirley doesn't waste time hand-slapping people who remarried after divorce. Instead she takes a "reality check" approach, encouraging couples to rise above imposed or assumed guilt and do the right thing for their present reality, their blended family.

The message is clear. When remarriage happens, whatever the reason - divorce or death, family dynamics may change but the basic needs don't.
Read more ›
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Benedetta on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an extremely helpful resource for families wishing to blend successfully, that is, happily. There is a lot of dialogue, some of which seems laborious to wade through at times, but I wouldn't overlook its importance: Many of the dialogues exemplify specific words, phrases, actions or situations that could really help each of us recognize, assess and modify our own behaviors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pamela Fagan Hutchins on May 13, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Shirley Cress Dudley offers a great mix of expertise and humbling personal experience, as she has spent years as a therapist/counselor and also as astep-parent in her own household. She skillfully and honestly weaves her sometimes painful experiences and advice based upon them into Blended Family Advice. Readers, be assured, she is on your side and knows what a tough job step-parenting can be. There's no judging in Blended Family Advice. She also very effectively yet discreetly incorporates problems presented in her practice, in an engaging "Dear Abby"-like format.

She delivers a consistent theme that I will summarize as "agree on a plan and stick to it consistently and decisively." No waffling! She stresses that alignment within the couple and consistency with each other and with the kids is key. Hear, hear! She had me from the word "Plan."

As a parent in a blended family myself, I especially appreciated the focus on keeping the relationship between the couple central and protected. It was also clear that she had a good handle on the perspectives of all the different people involved in a blended family scenario -- from the parents, to the step-parents, the ex's of the step-parents, the friends, the grandparents, the kids - and helps readers empathize and understand with all of these perspectives.
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