Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Stepfamilies are DIFFERENT

If we enter stepfamily life with the expectation that it will be just like a nuclear family, we are in for a rude shock. Why? Because stepfamilies don't start out with just two individuals...

...(say) Charlie and Sally are 'tying the knot'. Charlie might already have two kids from a former marriage - Sally has one. As they attempt to get to know each other, these extra 'appendages' have to be considered every step of the way. Charlie and Sally's planned romantic Sunday lunch at the Regent might turn into a quick bite at Maccers, if (for some reason - as often appears to be the case) the ex-partner just can't take care of the littlies that particular day. This is when reality bites !! Charlie and Sally's future includes (as it were) three children from former relationships. Three children whose existence, needs and rights have to be acknowledged, taken into consideration and met. This means that where traditionally couples can start their married life journey without having to worry about anything much apart from their own (and their new partner's needs), in a step- or blended family situation their life together begins with the weight of responsibility. It does not follow the relatively predictable pattern of the nuclear family where the couple fall in love, get married, in time have a child that naturally becomes part of the relationship, is joined (after some years) by a brother or sister, who becomes a further extension of the couple's relationship, and so on....

...and this is okay, as long as you remember, that a different type of family requires a different kind of approach. You can read more on that in our August Newsletter which you can access here

No comments: