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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting Paperback – CLV, April 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Series: The Complete Idiot's Guide
  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Alpha; 1st ed. edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0028624076
  • ISBN-13: 978-0028624075
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #589,612 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

ERICKA LUTZ, stepparent of two wonderful children, is proof that all stepmothers are not evil.  She’s author of Baby Maneuvers, a guide to helping parents travel with very young children, and coauthor of the Mom’s Guide to Disciplining Your Child.  She lives in Oakland, California.


More About the Author

Ericka Lutz's novel, The Edge of Maybe, is available from Last Light Studio books in 2012.

She is the author of seven non-fiction books including On the Go with Baby: A Stress-Free Guide to Getting Across Town or Around The World, The Complete Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting, and The Complete Idiot's Guide to a Looking Great for Teens (translated into Polish) and The Complete Idiot's Guide to Friendship for Teens (translated into Portuguese).

Ericka is a two-time recipient of a fiction fellowship at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. Her award-winning short stories and personal essays have appeared in books, anthologies, and journals, and her articles, book reviews and advice columns have appeared nationally in magazines, newspapers, and on the Web. She was a founding editor and wrote a popular monthly columns, "Red Diaper Dharma" and "Solo," at the online literary magazine Literary Mama.

She has been interviewed on over 40 radio shows including "The Parent's Journal" on NPR and has been a featured guest on KRON-TV and KGO (ABC) in San Francisco.

Since 1998, Ericka has been on the professional faculty at the Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley, where she teaches writing, speaking, and business communication. Since 1992 she's edited and consulted with writers about their writing and the writing process. She also teaches fiction writing and public speaking for U.C. Berkeley Extension

Ericka enjoys solo performance, travel, dogs, flying in small planes (as a passenger), hiking, gardening, and hanging out with large zoo animals.

Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Mikey on January 3, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have been a step-parent to two wonderful children for almost two years. I recieved this book for xmas, I never would have bought it had I looked at any one page. The book reads like someone took 100 post it notes with tidbits of info on them and threw them together to create a book. Unfortunatley the information (if it can so be called) is nothing more then a bunch of questions and the author saying how difficult living with a stepchild will be, she says it over and over and over.... The book is set up with a small paragraph with an idea or a question followed by "see more on this in chapter 9 or 14" etc. It is not only not informative but it a very annoying book to read. I can sum this entire book up in one sentence "Raising or Living with a step child/stepchildren is not easy, it is going to be stressful and challenging (see more on this at the beginning of my review)" There I just saved you 20 dollars, now find a different book to buy.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "jillp@the-onramp.net" on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This funny, informative, and well-organized book will take you from the dating stage on up the stepparenting ladder. It helped quiet a LOT of my fears early on, and brought up many subjects for discussion. This book is exactly what I needed when I was starting out. Touches just about every subject, not always in great detail, but has a long list of resources.
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19 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Peter Gerlach on August 2, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have specialized in providing professional education and therapy to divorced, courting, and re/wedded couples since 1981. I am (a) 66, (b) a stepgrandson, stepson, and ex-stepfather and stepbrother, (c) an invited Board member of the Stepfamily Association of America, (d) a contributing editor to 'Your Stepfamily Online,' and (e) the author of six personal-growth and family-relations books.

I recommend "the ... Idiot's Guide to Stepparenting" to readers who want a "feel" and comprehensive reference book for - *surface* aspects of the challenging role of stepparent. I do not recommend this book to any student, co-parent, or family professional seeking the core requisites for succeeding at
this difficult family role.

Author, mother, and stepmother Erika Lutz is not a clinician. Like most authors in this genre, she misses four core hazards that (I believe) every stepfamily co-parent and supporter needs to know:

1) why and how to assess and reduce partners' psychological wounds from childhood neglect;

2) the origin and impacts of blocked grief in adults and kids, and how to spot and reduce it;

3) co-parent unawareness of five key topics: (a) normal personality information, composition, and function, (b) high-nurturance families and relationships, (c) effective communication skills, (d) healthy 3-level grief, and (e) stepfamily realities and norms. and...

4) little effective re/marital and co-parenting help (i.e. courtship coaching, classes, informed counseling, co-parent support groups) available in most communities and the media.

In my experience, these factors will often block typical mature, motivated, loving partners from following well-meant advice as in this book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By "jillp@the-onramp.net" on June 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
This funny, informative, and well-organized book will take you from the dating stage on up the stepparenting ladder. It helped quiet a LOT of my fears early on, and brought up many subjects for discussion. This book is exactly what I needed when I was starting out. Touches just about every subject, not always in great detail, but has a long list of resources.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By GameFiend on March 6, 2004
Format: Paperback
This was not a very informative book. I thought there were a lot of good ideas and a lot of different concepts brought out in it, however the author did not go into very much detail on any of the subjects. I thought it was also a little disorganized, the author seemed to delight in making the reader skip from section to section. I would keep looking for another book, this one is a definite one star.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Angela M. Woods on October 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is so insightful! It covers almost every possible scenario that a stepparent could face so that it can prepare you for what's ahead from the first meeting to to managing a successful family. I love that it realistically explains what is normal and acceptable because real life is definitely nothing like the Brady Bunch. My expectations have changed now that I have read this book, and there is less pressure on my entire family thanks to Ericka Lutz. I wish I could thank her for holding my hand and helping me through all this!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Melissa R. King on July 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
My husband and I reviewed this book together and we both found it to be extremely helpful. My husband has 2 children from a previous relationship and we get along, but I have some feelings of being left out. This book put into perspective for both of us that my feelings are real and it helped us find solutions for the problem. Highly recommend for both new step parents and existing step parents
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