99: Stepfamily Styles - Which One are You?

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By Brian Mayer, The Remarried Life with Brian Mayer. Remarriage, and Blended Families. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Brian Mayer takes at the different ways we try to bring our stepfamilies together. Today’s episodes is based on the book called The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal. In it he describes 5 different ways we attempt to bring our families together. Five of these he considers unhealthy – Blender, Food Processor, Microwave, Pressure Cooker, and Tossed. One he considers healthy – Crockpot Cooking. We hope you enjoy today’s message. For more information and additional resources please visit our website at http://www.theremarriedlife.com

Today's Goodies

  • There are so many different ways and methods that people have tried to bring stepfamilies and blended families together. In fact there might just as many ways as there are families.
  • Today we are going to talk about 6 typical ways that partners try to bring families together in these new circumstances. These are all based on the book called The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal.
  • He considers 5 of these to be rather unhealthy and 1 way to be healthy.
  • Let’s discuss the Unhealthy Styles first:
    • Blender: This involves whipping everyone together into one mixture and not assuming that each ingredient will relate to the other. Imagine making fruit smoothie and adding salmon. Doesn’t sound real good does it? In this method, teens are treated the same as younger children and each child is viewed the same even though experiences might have been different.
    • Food Processor: This involves bringing everyone together at rapid speed but that each may begin to feel torn into pieces when things do go right. Deal talks about attempting to replace a biological father with a stepfather and expecting the children to view the stepfather in the same way.
    • Microwave: He talks about this family ignoring the fact that they are a stepfamily, because they feel like it makes them less than so. There is a fear of not being accepted by others if they only knew that you were a stepfamily. Not accepting the challenges on a stepfamily can cause issues.
    • Pressure Cooker: Great expectations can often cause the lid to blow off. This one happens when parents put too much pressure on themselves and the kids to make the new stepfamily work. Deal talks about forcing kids to like a stepparent because the parent likes them and that it will be easier this way. Forcing someone to like someone else is like, try to climb a pole that has been greased completely with olive oil (to use a another cooking analogy).
    • Tossed: This style is like throwing everything in the air and again expecting it to fit together neatly. Some examples include a revolving door of dating that causes kids no stability or allowing kids that might remain home to disturb a child’s possessions who is gone to the other home, can give a tossed salad feel.
  • The healthy style is called Crockpot Cooking:
    • Time and Low Heat are essential. What does this mean? It means patience and less pressure. I don’t know about you but slow cooking is about the best way to enjoy food. All the flavors just ramp up the longer they are allowed to cook. I think about soups etc also that are heated up the next day that taste even better.
    • Don’t Rush. Allow time for everyone to settle in. You may have heard before, but sometimes it can many years for a blended family to settle in and sometimes it never fully happens.
    • Low Heat may mean spending time with kids especially doing things they like to. This could mean that every child has something different they enjoy so you may need to work to carve out more 1:1 time with them to help them blend well.
  • Hope you have enjoyed some thoughts on what to do and what not to do when it comes to blending a family.
  • Don’t give up hope and most of all don’t give into the myths that this thing we call blending is supposed to work quickly and easily.

Resources:

Thanks For Listening!

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As always remember that marriage is not something you have, it is something you do. Talk to you next week unless you are binge listening in the future in which case I will talk to you in about a minute! Take care.

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