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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Are Stepfamilies Complicated??

Yes, they are more complicated - that's the bad news - the good news is that they can be very productive and happy places to live.  Stepfamilies can test you for what it takes to create a successful relationship. They are surprisingly interesting and empowering with the intricacies of family life.

After more than three decades of divorce and family break-up we still don't quite know what to make of stepfamilies. We loved the Brady Bunch, but that was before we discovered how unreal they were.  Now that stepfamilies embrace one of every three children and, one way or another, impact the vast majority of families, we can't seem to get past seeing them as the spawn of failure, the shadow side of our overidealized traditional family.

When we think of them at all, we see only what they are not--hence their designation as "nontraditional " families, heaped with unwed moms, gay parents, and other permutations that make up the majority of families today. By the year 2000, stepfamilies outnumbered all other family types - so we better get our heads around the fact that they are here to stay, we need to understand them and we need to support them.

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