Tuesday, March 22, 2011
It is a common belief that stepfamilies should act and look just like nuclear families. Often unrealistic expectations such as these can cause people in stepfamilies to feel frustrated, overwhelmed, disillusioned and confused. When you factor in the daily stresses of stepfamily life, tension can mount between individual and things can feel out of control.
Often however, a little bit of information about this and some other misconceptions and pressures we place on stepfamilies can cause a positive shift in perspective, improve the relationships within families and help define roles that work. By developing a better understanding of what everyone in a stepfamily is experiencing, it is very possible to improve communication, reduce stress, increase cohesion and increase the appreciation for what each individual brings to this unique family system.
For those of you who may not have seen these myths before (or maybe need a refresher - you know who you are), click here for the National Stepfamily Resource Center's page on this topic.
By Heather Remer, MA LMHC