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Healing the Stepfamily from the inside out.
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    The StepFamily Center is dedicated to strengthening couples so they can successfully meet the challenges of the stepfamily experience!

    Read More... "About Us"

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    Navigating stepfamily life can be difficult for everybody involved – the stepparents, the stepchildren, and the biological parents. We attempt to answer some commonly asked questions about everybody’s role in a stepfamily.

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    The StepFamily Life Newsletter is our free monthly e-newsletter linking you to the latest goings on at The StepFamily Center. Subscribe to be kept up-to-date on the latest articles, meetings and events, as well as book reviews and current events affecting stepfamilies.

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    There are more than 1,000 new stepfamilies
    forming every day in the United States.


     Let us help you make yours successful.

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    Sometimes just hearing what someone else has to say helps so much! I encourage you to write down your own experiences and send them to us. It’s wonderful and healing when you come to realize that whatever you are going through, someone else is going through the same thing. It is my hope to make this site informative and helpful in your journey.


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  • Healing the Stepfamily from the inside out.

Stepmoms: What to do When the Biological Parent Is Certain it’s All Your Problem

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Biological Kids, Parenting, Relationships, Remarriage, Stepkids, Stepmom, Stepparents, Therapy

It is so common for parents of biological children to feel that the problem in the relationship between their kids and the stepparent belongs to the person in the step position.

“If they were only nicer, kinder, more understanding, or more forgiving,” they think, “things wouldn’t be such a big deal.”

The 6 Don’ts of Being a Stepdad

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Parenting, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Therapy

Stepdads are often ignored in the literature because so much of the focus is on stepmothers. Since June is the time to honor dads, I want to focus this article on stepdads.

Men who marry women with children take on a role that not many could possibly be prepared for. While you most likely come into this with all good intentions to be the man of the household, you might wonder why you feel left out and why your stepchildren and wife are often upset with you or siding against you. This is very hurtful and perplexing for many stepdads.

Why Can’t My New Partner Love My Child?

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Biological Kids, Parenting, Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Stepmom, Stepparents, Therapy

“I don’t understand how she cannot love Isabel (8). I know she’s acting out a lot of anger about the divorce, but she’s so loving and adorable!”

It is said that nobody can truly love a child like a child’s own parents. We were the ones who saw how precious they were as infants, and who they needed and depended upon growing up. We were the ones feeling pride at each and every milestone, as if our kids were the only children learning to turn over, crawl, and walk. And we fell in love completely the first moment we heard the words “mama” and “dada.”

This love we have for our children is often so powerful that we cannot imagine how a new spouse, who professes to love us so much, does not feel the same way.

I Sit Here This Morning

Written by Susan Swanson on . Posted in Biological Kids, Divorce, Marriage, Parenting, Relationships, Remarriage, Stepdad, Stepkids, Stepmom, Stepparents, Therapy

Two weeks into my new Stepfamily, my second Stepfamily to be exact. I planned to get up this morning, turn on my computer and, with a cup of coffee, have a luxurious morning to collect my thoughts before my workday begins. But, at 8 a.m., my pretty new stepdaughter flies into the house and announces, “My school day doesn’t start until 9:30 today!” and proceeds to set up her homework on the dining room table. I got into the shower and thought about how I got here, at this time in my life.

For the past five years, I have lived alone, learning about myself, my rituals, my routines. I had the luxury of having my own space, with no kids around, and I fit into it nicely. I enjoy my time with no interruptions, when I can “screen” calls and determine when and how I want to be interrupted.