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The Smart Stepmom: Practical Steps to Help You Thrive Paperback – October 1, 2009


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"It is hard to imagine a more extensive resource material on this challenging topic of entering into and living out the role of stepmom. Excellent from start to finish, stepmoms (and those who love them) will be comforted, encouraged and energized to stay at the task of rearing, loving and accepting their stepchildren." --Michele Howe, FaithfulReader.com

From the Back Cover

You Can Be a Smart Stepmom

In today's complicated stepfamily, the stepmom often doesn't know where to turn for help. Let stepfamily expert Ron Deal and experienced stepmom Laura Petherbridge show you how to survive and thrive as a stepmom, including:

How to be a positive influence on children who are torn between loyalty to their biological mom and to you.

What to do when you feel ostracized, rejected, or lonely.

When and how to step back during conflict and let your husband take the lead.

How to handle holidays, adult stepchildren, between-home communication, and much more.

Here is the hope, encouragement, and practical information to assure you that you are not alone in the stepmom journey.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Bethany House Publishers (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764207024
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764207020
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,764 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By tabbi on December 30, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My situation is one that 'the x wife' wanted the divorce, yet she still insists on making my husband suffer. She sees the children as a possesion of hers and not THEIRS. I see the games she plays and try to tell my husband how to respond, but his emotional ties to the children keep him reacting to her just as she wants.
This book helped me see that all I can do is be there for them, love them when they let me and allow them to feel negative when and if that time comes. There is nothing I can do to change her negative behaviors, she will be and do whatever it is she will be and do. I have to live in peace in our home and attempt to not allow her behaviors to affect us. This book also confirmed for me that children will grow up, they will see and learn for themselves, when they get to that age we will be who we(my husband and I) have been from the time they were 3. The mother in me hates to see their mother making such huge mistakes, but the book taught me--they are hers to make. The stories at the end of the book gave me the most hope...
Fantastic book--anyone in a divorce with children should read before re-marriage....if your children mean anything to you at all, you will grow much wisdom for their sakes.
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Format: Paperback
Ron L. Deal, founder of "Successful Stepfamilies" and licensed marriage and family therapist, has teamed up with Laura Petherbridge, author of WHEN "I DO" BECOMES "I DON'T," to develop a comprehensive source of practical insights and step-by-step encouragements for stepmoms. Unlike the stereotypical fairy tale portrayal of the wicked stepmother character, Deal and Petherbridge explain that, in the majority of households, nothing could be further from the truth. The vast majority of stepmoms desire nothing more than to take part in creating a successful marriage and passing on a legacy of loving support to their stepchildren. The glitch, however, is how to move from desire to realization. For most stepmoms, the journey is anything but easy and, as many admit, can be the hardest task for a person to undertake.

The authors realize how difficult this role of "stepmom" can be, and Petherbridge speaks from firsthand experience as she offers her own personal remembrances of being stepmom to her husband's sons. She cites that stepmoms (like every living person) bring to the new marriage their own past experiences, insights and limitations, which must be recognized and acknowledged, otherwise injured feelings and short-circuit relational growth will occur between everyone in the family.

Deal and Petherbridge offer readers (which should include stepmoms, stepdads and every person in the original family unit) great insight and countless practical suggestions for working through every conceivable family dilemma. In the two-section text, stepmoms will gratefully learn that they are not alone in feeling that sudden urge to "run away from home," and that feeling like an "outsider" within the walls of their home is also a common response.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By life learner on February 14, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found myself struggling in my 'step-mom situation'. Having met my now 6 year old step-daughter just after she turned 2, and that she is with my husband and I 80% of the time, made me think our bond would be strong, I wouldn't run into the same problems as women who become step-mom's later in the children's lives, but I was wrong. Our bond is strong, but I still deal with the jealousy, confusion, distance, hurtful jabs from my 6 year old step-daughter and also those same feelings I have towards her at times, well jealousy towards the bio-mom. After reading the first few chapters of this book, my outlook has changed, I can better be in the shoes of my step-daughter, know what she is going through and that helps me get past all the emotional hurt I was feeling. This book helped me understand and accept that I am not alone, other step-moms go through exactly what I am going through. I was having a difficult time with being the 'bread-winner' of the family and financially supporting my step-daughter 100% as well as supporting her schooling, and all her basic needs, ballet, swimming lessons, etc. basically being her mom, but getting no credit - i'm still 2nd to the bio mom even though the bio mom does little to nothing to care for her step-daughter. This book helped me to understand that in my step-daughters eyes, that doesn't matter, her bio-mom is her blood, her mom, just existing or even if she were deceased, it would still be very similar - I will always be second no matter how much care and love I put into it. This was huge for me to come to terms with and has helped us with our relationship. The only negative is, although i am christian, the prayers at the end of the chapters were a little redundant and long, a few sentences for the prayer would have sufficed. I hope this review helped - i wanted to explain my situation a little so others could relate and hopefully get the book to help them.
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31 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Breezy on October 4, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Despite an at times almost overwhelmingly Christian approach, in terms of practical strategies, a useful overall perspective on stepmotherdom and fantastic insight into the step experience for both kids and stepmums, I found this book to be the single most useful stepparenting guide I've read.

I'm a secular humanist with little time for dogma in any form, so Christian family how-to guides are not at all my thing, but sifting through this book for the "meat" and ignoring the end of chapter prayers and recurrent church/Biblical references was really, really worthwhile.

Interestingly, I certainly would not have bought this book had I realised just how central Christianity was to its ethos, and yet I'm very, very glad I did. Nothing about the Christianity espoused in it was offensive to my feminist secular views - and while the prayers etc where a bit OTT, the insights, especially into kids' experience of divorce, were quite profound.

I feel I'm already stepparenting better for having read this book. Now I just need to get my (fanatically atheistic) partner to read it too...
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