- Hardcover: 174 pages
- Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers (May 26, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1442243104
- ISBN-13: 978-1442243101
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 0.7 x 9.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,515 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8-18
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From the Publisher
Blending begins with the couple
Key Challenges to the Blending Process:
1. Putting the couple first.
2. Resolving parenting differences.
3. Communicating stability to the children.
4. Setting the boundaries of stepparenting.
5. Establishing equality where there is inequality.
The biggest challenge to the blending process is a union that allows the personal relationship of the couple to take a back seat to parenting. It’s vital to keep the marriage in the front seat and keep the kids in the back.
Preteens can change quickly
Stepparenting Issues with Preteens:
1. The growing need for autonomy.
2. The continuing need to interact regularly with parental figures.
3. The need to feel respected as almost-grown-up people, not 'little kids'
4. The need for confidence-builders.
5. The need for you not to be an embarrassment.
Even when a child’s life is stable, in moving toward puberty, a certain kind of lightheartedness-silliness-is probably the first to go. Events like divorce between parents would probably hasten the loss of silliness, but it’s bound to happen anyway. A stepparent can sometimes help the parent in noticing seriousness creeping in. It’s not the time to spotlight it through fussing or distract from it by entertaining. It’s the time to pay attention to feelings about changes-changes in the child’s circumstances, relationship, activities, and body.
Blending Do's And Don’ts
A Sampling of Blending DOs and DON’Ts
- Do learn from your family history how the dynamics of your family or origin shaped how you interact.
- Do listen as much as you talk with your partner. Give your partner full attention.
- Do acknowledge your partner when he or she makes a valid point in a discussion, even if you don’t agree with it.
- Don’t blame your parents or your partner’s parents for challenges you’re having.
- Don’t act like what you have to so say is more important that what your partner has to share with you.
- Don’t talk to your partner as though you are always right. 'Being right' has got to be a shared experience.
Considering that 50 percent of families in the U.S. are formed by a remarriage or recoupling, this optimistic and realistic book will be a good resource for many parents and stepparents. The content is geared toward those who are considering combining as well as those who are already blended and facing challenges. The book is organized into three sections. 'Opportunities and Challenges' includes a useful quiz about adult attachment styles and helps you understand your own style and that of your partner. In section 2, the authors lay out the 'Five Things You Must Have to Succeed,' and section 3 covers 'Stories and Practical Insights.” In the “Do’s and Don’ts' list in section 3, the authors reach beyond their own expertise and include insights from marriage-expert John Gottman and financial-expert Suze Orman. Mullineaux’s own story adds a personal touch and credibility to the mix. Despite the large number of blended families, there aren’t a lot of titles on the topic. Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8–18 would be a useful addition for any public library. (Booklist)
Drawing on personal experience, professional consultation and research on blended families, the authors provide clear, practical advice for those of us who live in stepfamilies. The book will also be of interest to professionals who work with blended families. (W. Kim Hanford, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia)
This book combines the real-world experiences of stepfamilies and the expertise of smart, compassionate therapists. You'll find it a valuable guide not just to successful family blending, but to how to be married well under challenging circumstances. It's a wise and uplifting book. (William J. Doherty, Phd, professor of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota; author of Take Back Your Marriage)
About the Author
Trevor Crow Mullineaux, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the co-author with Maryann Karinch of Forging Healthy Connections. She has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University, Connecticut, and also holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BS from Parsons The New School for Design. She practices and resides in Southport, Connecticut.
Maryann Karinch is the author of 24 books, including Forging Healthy Connections, which she co-authored with Trevor Crow. Most of books and presentations focus on human behavior. In recognition of her work as a dedicated explorer of the psyche and mind-body interaction, The Explorers Club (most known for its membership of astronauts, anthropologists and explorers of terrain) took an unusual step and elected her to membership in 2010. Her website is www.karinch.com. She lives in Estes Park, Colorado.
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Pamela Tinkham LCSW, RYT