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NATIONAL STEPFAMILY DAY – September 16

NATIONAL STEPFAMILY DAY – September 16

NATIONAL STEPFAMILY DAY

National Step Family Day on September 16th recognizes all the blended families making it work. 

In the USA, over 30% of the under 18 population live in a stepfamily environment.  Also known as a blended family, parents, siblings and extended family members work together to create happy, functional environments. Circumstances vary. Whether divorce, a death in the family or other event created the stepfamily, the important thing is that they chose to be family

Keep a few things in mind when starting a new relationship. 
  • Professional advice
    • Self-help books by professionals will guide you through each phase. While some people scoff at this approach, professional guidance and research offer a wealth of information. Pick what works for your family dynamic.
    • Family therapy also offers intermittent support. Many employers include assistance programs that provide the service free.
  • Take it slow
    • Rushing into a relationship is risky when children aren’t involved. Parents with successful stepfamilies take their time and introduce the new person in their life slowly.
    • Allow time for the children to adjust to the transition.
    • Keep it light
      • Everyone will need to get to know each other, their likes and dislikes.
      • Play easy games that bring out each other’s personalities.
      • Try one on one time doing something your child enjoys.
    • Level the playing field
      • Choose activities everyone involved will enjoy and are capable of participating. If even one member of the group is left out, someone will feel like an outsider. For example, a boating adventure will go badly if one family member gets seasick easily. The outing will be a disaster with one member feeling miserable and the rest of the crew blaming them for ruining the day.
    • Give children permission to be loyal
      • A child’s dad or mom is their dad or mom.
      • The new person coming into their life is your new spouse. They are a step-parent. Their role is different from your child’s parent.
      • Children carry overwhelming guilt for being nice, kind or even liking your new spouse. Let them know they are allowed to be loyal, but not rude or disrespectful.
    • Negative words and former spouses
      • Children develop a sense of our character over time. How we speak of our children’s other parent reflects on us. Try not to use negative words about the absent parent. It’s possible for former spouses to join in on family activities such as birthdays.  However, if a child’s other parent is not in the child’s life the custodial parent can explain when the child is old enough to understand in simple terms without using disparaging terms.

    HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalStepfamilyDay

    Share your tips for successful stepfamilies. Share photos of your family using #NationalStepfamilyDay to post on social media.

    NATIONAL STEPFAMILY DAY HISTORY

    In 1997, Cristy Borgeld founded National Stepfamily Day.


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