“Seeking a therapist for couple forming a blended family. Each has two adolescents. Kids are resistant, hostile, and splitting. Couple very motivated —wedding in three months.”

 “Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships”
by Patricia Papernow, PhD

Guiding parents as they begin dating, falling in love, introducing children to significant others (and their children!) and ultimately stepping into stepfamily is the purview of stepfamily coaching. Many parents and their partners don’t realize that building a stepfamily begins in those early stages, those first meetings, as the newly forming couple sets expectations, builds hopes and dreams about futures that will include their children.

Building of a successful stepfamily is “complicated” and “amazing.” When partners have an understanding of stepfamily architecture, they can work together to understand the myriad of adult feelings toward children who aren’t their own, weather the bumpiness of children’s adjustment to a new adult, respectfully integrate co-parents, and evolve into a healthy, well-adjusted family.

Stepfamily coaching involves collaborating, exploring options, mediating, educating, and receiving on-going support for your changing family. Effective coaching helps you set a foundation for successful transitions, which can lead to healthy, thriving children, teens and adults alike. If everyone is going to be healthy, then everyone matters. So, you may want to consider:

  • The adult relationship skill set necessary for successful stepparenting
  • Children’s responses to parents dating – developmental considerations
  • Stages, steps and skills for healthy stepfamily development
    • You’re falling in love … what about the kids?
    • You’re in love … what about the kids?
    • Are we family yet? … what about the kids?
    • Dealing with ‘fall-aparts’ ….what about the kids?
  • Mine-yours-ours – children and more children
  • Different issues for stepmoms and stepdads
  • Later-in life stepfamily concerns – grandkids, and more

Now available on Amazon and your favorite book sellers: “The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating, to Getting Serious, to Forming a ‘Blended Family’” by Karen Bonnell and Patricia Papernow. Subscribe to our eNews.

If I can be of assistance to you, please don’t hesitate to contact me. We can discuss options for finding a highly-capable co-parent / stepparent coach in your area or whether I can assist by coaching via video-platform or phone.