TU38: The Blended Family – How to Create Strong and Lasting Step-Family Relationships

by | Jul 26, 2017 | Attachment, Episodes, Mindfulness, Parenting, Personal Growth, Relationships, Therapy, Trauma

Show Notes


The Blended Family: How to Create Strong and Lasting Step-Family Relationships
Show Notes

This episode breaks it down by debunking the most popular myths and giving specific do’s and don’ts to help you create secure long-lasting families no matter their origin.

Blended Family Myths

Wicked stepmothers and red-headed step children – our psyche with the help of Disney often portrays step-families through a suspicious lens. However, only 23% of families are made up of two heterosexual biological parents in their first marriage. So called “weird” families such as blended, same-sex parents, adoption and foster, grandparents parenting, polyamorous and so on are the new normal. Adults living with biologically unrelated children have unique challenges, and in this episode we focus specifically on blended families. Dr. Ann Kelley and Sue Marriott discuss common myths as well as tips toward achieving a healthy blended family bond. We unpack the tensions that often emerge as two cultures come together and deliver practical solutions for how to avoid pitfalls and build a foundation that helps the process of reconstituting a new gaggle go smoother. Also, gender and developmental differences are discussed –

you may be surprised that sons and daughters respond differently. Finally same-sex headed families are also discussed, the unique strethgs and challenges within these families. Hey glbtq – headed parents out there – don’t worry we totally have your back. We

are all about it and are working on an entire episode on the beautiful and unique gifts of glbtq families coming to your podcast player soon.


0:50 – Intro

2:27–Blended family

3:52–Myth 1 of Blended Families: Stepfamilies are not as healthy as “real” families.

5:50–Why children struggle more than those in first-marriage, intact families andhow to prevent it

7:26–Effect of divorce on children–socio-economic drop and severe change of

routine should be prevented

8:34–Whatever you do, don’t mess with the mind of the child in how they see theother parent (ie.alter the child’s internalized image of the other parent).

9:50–Myth 2 of Blended Families: Stepfamilies break up more often and that is a bad thing

13:36–Myth 3 of Blended Families: Children who come from divorced and thenblended families will likely struggle in life. (All families have problems–step families are just more exposed and therefore vulnerable)

14:45–Difference between boys & girls transitions becoming stepchildren

17:00–Time helps everyone–How can we expedite the process of feeling like afamily and speed up the process?

17:50–When parent’s sense of fantasy and pressure to get it right and rushing the process leads to combustible outcomes.

18:50–Being around parents that are overtly affectionately in love can be difficult for children and may increase the tension within the child or between the child andparent/stepparent. Many times children haven’t seen parents fall in love

21:25–Idealized fantasy of second marriage & pressure to get it right the 2nd time around

22:23–Blending families = blending two cultures (Don’t try to create one united front)

27:50–Differences in administering discipline is a frequent source of conflict in

blended families (Permissive parents vs. boundary-setting parents)

28:50–Don’t step into direct-disciplinary role for the first year as a step-parent. Working towards a non-polarized, firm, loving place where child still has boundaries

33:05–The more stuck a child gets in an outside position, more potentially damaging (Bio parent & step parent need to have empathy for child who might be shifted into an outside position)

38:12–Tip: Watch for losses and loyalty bonds and changes (Loss of parental attention is a major theme in step-children)

39:30–Forming traditions that are unique to both families

40:00–Ex-spouse & custody issues–Collaborative co-parenting is ideal, next is just a peaceful coexistence, worst case scenario go to the schedule as your rulebook.

44:50–Important to have up-down relationship. Find place of homeostasis between parent & child.

45:40–Hope–Despite challenges and strengths–The second marriages, once past all the turmoil, are actually happier

46:25–These terms apply to alternative & glbtq families as well

49:05–Same sex mothers typically have more fluidity making these transitions–typically they have custody as opposed to two men–Non-custodial parents shouldn’t be afraid to enforce chores rather than trying to only please the child.

51:50–Difference in same-sex couples: often don’t have as much support fromextended family

52:35–Parting advice: Slow it down, time will take its course, don’t be afraid toseek help from a professional, hang back and let child make their own opinion

55:04 – Outro



Additional resources for this episode:


Recent Episodes

What Tiny Humans Can Teach Us About Adult Relating, with Neonatal Therapist Sue Ludwig (197)

What Tiny Humans Can Teach Us About Adult Relating, with Neonatal Therapist Sue Ludwig (197)

As a certified Neonatal Therapist, Sue Ludwig has dedicated her life to not only the physical development but the emotional development of her patients. Ludwig brings intentionality to each moment by strategically working to regulate patients’ nervous systems during their time in the NICU. Her process focuses on the interconnection of the mind and body and aims to support the child’s development in vulnerable situations. She explains the importance of proper technique to avoid disrupting the nervous system, and the long-term effects on neurodevelopment. Through her personal and professional journeys, Sue Ludwig has learned the value of being present in small moments to build deeper connections and experience lasting results.

read more
Whole Brain Living, Psychology + Neuroanatomy + Spirit with Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor – REPLAY (195)

Whole Brain Living, Psychology + Neuroanatomy + Spirit with Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor – REPLAY (195)

Integrating psychology, neurobiology and spiritual awakening – this episode will inspire you as it has the 26 million viewers of the TED Talk, Stroke of Insight. Using neuroanatomy and her deep insights from a serious stroke, Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor and Sue Marriott discuss the 4 interpersonal skill subsets in the brain. Also find out more about Whole Brain Living and the various ways it can be applied across the multiple settings by getting in touch with Bolte-Taylor. This a a must-not-miss replay from 2022, find more at www.therapistuncensored.com/195, www.therapistuncensored.com/join to get an ad-free feed and join the online community.

read more

What else do you want to learn today?

Get Your Modern Attachment-Regulation Spectrum (MARS)Bundle

3 videos, 3 handouts, and 7 podcast episodes to get you started on your path toward secure relating.

Success! Please check your inbox to confirm your subscription and access your starter pack.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This