Stepkin

Stepkin: a family evolution.>

You can move through conflicts, be stepkin, and form the new American family of the 21st century.

Stepparents

Stepkin: An Evolution in America! Parenting Your Step Family

Jan Wilson

A family is what we make it. Remember this as you move through the different stages of evolving a stepfamily and learn to get along with the ex or exes, the his, the hers, and possibly the ours of children, plus the cousins, the grandparents, the aunts, and the uncles. Americans love fairy tales. Especially the one where Prince Charming and Cinderella live happily ever after. If that did not come true in the first marriage, well… we are often given another chance in a second one.

A blended family is begun when an adult, with at least one child from a previous marriage, forms a household with someone who has no ties to that child. Although that does not have to be a new spouse, for purposes of this article we are going to assume it is a new spouse.

This new household can be attached to a variety of people such as the "other" parent(s), possible new brothers and sisters, old in-laws and new in-laws, old grandparents and new grandparents, etc. A virtual blender of people that evolves a new family of "stepkin."

Margaret Newman, registered psychologist, in her book Stepfamily Realities, lists five stages in stepfamily growth. Each stage can, and probably will, be experienced with portions of other stages present, too. However, these stages represent the evolution of stepfamily life.

1. The Fantasy Stage.

Husband and wife feel all dreams of family life will finally come true. Stepsiblings may be looking forward to living together. There is idealism with everyone putting their best foot forward. In addition, the two parents are getting to know each other as mates. This is hard enough with no children present.

2. The Confusion Stage.

Differences begin to emerge and expected happiness is slipping away. Still, there is typically denial of impending trouble. Tension grows, romance wanes, children’s novelty has worn off, and fear of not making it rears its head.

3. The Conflict Stage.

Power struggles begin as family members want their needs met. Open or hidden expressions of anger and aggression appear.

You can move through conflicts, be stepkin, and form the new American family of the 21st century.

4. The Coming-Together Stage.

Relationships are becoming familiar, parts of the family are operating smoothly, and members are learning to resolve issues. Hope is renewed.

5. The Resolution Stage.

Optimism returns and the future looks better. Family members can relax and start to be themselves. Methods for resolving conflict have been learned and can be used as needed. Family ties are growing.

A family is what we make it.

Remember this as you move through the different stages of evolving a stepfamily and learn to get along with the ex or exes, the his, the hers, and possibly the ours of children, plus the cousins, the grandparents, the aunts, and the uncles.

You can move through conflicts, be stepkin, and form the new American family of the 21st century.

Additional information about stepparenting, stepfamilies.

Large Play Mats roll-up for storage between rainy days or stepkids’ visits. Review mat | Buy mat

Go Away Monster! Board Game Review game | Buy game

Don’t Make Me Laugh, Jr Board Game Review Game | Buy Game

Zingo Board Game Review Game | Buy Game

Tin box Version Cranium’s Cadoo, Family Game Review game | Buy game

Review Ready Bed with easily inflatable mattresses for grandkids’ visits or popular gifts with boy’s or girl’s favorite characters.

Introducing the StepParents’ Web StepParent Web Directory Q & A Series Blended Family Blended or Blender? New Stepparent: Now What? Stepkin: An Evolution What Is a Single Stepparent? Building Kinship Short and Long-Term Visitation Second Marriages with Children Both Are Non-Custody Parents Six Common Stepfamily Conflicts Thanks, Mike! Doggy-Blue

One Non-Custody Parent/Spouse Has Visitation Rights

Stepparents Seek Advice from Other Stepparents.

Stepfathers: A fact of life in America today.

Time-out: An Effective Discipline for Stepfamilies.

Multiple page series of letters about stepparenting from CyberParent surfers.

Genetic Engineering: What Is It and How Can It Affect My Family? Book Review: The Blended Family Sourcebook Book Review: Blending Families Book Review: The Courage to Be a Stepmom Book Review: Divorce and New Beginnings Book Review: Stepcoupling Book Review: Step Wars Book Review: Step Wise Book Review: Surviving Your Adolescents. Book Review: 1-2-3 Magic Book Review: The Combined Family Book Review: Living in a StepFamily

Note: The opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the writers and do not necessarily reflect the position of CyberParent. They are not intended to take the place of advice of a health professional whose advice you might need to seek.

You might also like More from author