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1. Smart Stepfamily, The: Seven Steps
2. Stepfamilies
3. The Smart Step-Family: Seven Steps
4. How To Win As A Stepfamily
5. Secrets to Stepfamily Success
6. The Stepfamily Survival Guide
7. Strengthening Your Stepfamily
8. The Step-Tween Survival Guide:
9. Smart Stepfamily Small Group Resource
10. Help! A Girl's Guide to Divorce
11. Stepfamily Realities: How to Overcome
12. Family Rules: Helping Stepfamilies
13. Making Peace in Your Stepfamily
14. Becoming A Stepfamily: Patterns
15. Divorce & New Beginnings:
16. Stepfamily Relationships: Development,
17. Living In A Step-family Without
18. The International Handbook of
19. When Your Parent Remarries Late
20. Stepfamily Life Can Be Hell but

1. Smart Stepfamily, The: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
by Ron L. Deal
Paperback: 272 Pages (2006-01-01)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$7.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 076420159X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Ron Deal provides seven effective, achievable steps toward building a healthy marriage and a workable and peaceful stepfamily. Exploding the myth of achieving a "blended family" he helps parents recognize the unique personality and place of each family member, honor the families of origin while establishing new traditions, and much more. Developed from Deal’s nationwide seminars on the topic, this material is equally useful for individuals, families, small groups, pastors, and counselors. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

5-0 out of 5 stars The BEST Christian step-family book
My husband and I read several books about remarriage/step-family life and this is the one we have returned to over and over again for it's wisdom and practicality.Mr. Deal's training and experience as a licensed counselor lends additional credibility to the material.This book offers more than just a few memorable guidelines (ie: 7 Steps), it fosters a healthy and productive attitude toward step-family life with sound, biblical foundations.The format is easy to read and includes questions at the end of each chapter to help generate discussion.Highly recommended to anyone entering or in a step-family.

3-0 out of 5 stars Pretty basic stuff
This book is well-written and is an easy, enjoyable read. However, if you are honoring God in your marriage and respect is already demonstrated in your house and everyone's roles are clear, this book will not help you much. It seems to be more of a wake-up call to those who might have entered a second (or subsequent) marriage based on shallowness. If you are thoughtful and living as God intends and acting as the fully-realized adults in the family, you would already be coming up with the ideas that are in this book, in my opinion.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great help
This book is a must for all step-parents.It is insightful, well written and helps with all the doubts, concerns and questions we all have.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must read
This is a must read for all engaged couples who have been married before, and/or are bringing children into the new marriage. It is a practical eye-opener that helps the couple prepare with appropriate expectations. All couples hope and assume that their next marriage will be successful, but many times expectations are too high and unrealistic, and this can sabatoge the new marriage. The book is also great for couples already married into a step-family situation, showing them how to set appropriate goals. The book lays it on the line how difficult the challenges are for a step family, but also encourages the reader to look for the strength and blessings God is providing for them daily.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Very good book!!Would recommend it for anyone at any stage in a step family!! ... Read more

2. Stepfamilies
by James H. Bray, John Kelly
Paperback: 288 Pages (1999-04-20)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$5.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0767901037
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Based on a landmark longitudinal study, the nation's leading expert on stepfamilies reveals his breakthrough findings and offers the first detailed guide to easing the conflicts of stepfamily life and healing the scars of divorce.

There are more than twenty million stepfamilies in America.  For most of them, the simple, daily issues that challenge every family are even more anxiety-provoking.  After conducting a comprehensive nine-year-long study funded by the National Institutes of Health, Dr.  James H.  Bray has written an invaluable book that explains why over half of all stepfamilies fail and reveals the strategies that help the others succeed.

A stepfamily is assaulted on all sides by difficult and often divisive questions.  How much control should a stepparent have over a stepchild? How much authority should a nonresidential parent exert over a child? How should a difficult former spouse be handled? How does an "ours" baby change the emotional dynamic in a stepfamily? Why is there a lack of "honeymoon effect" during the first years of stepfamily life?

The purpose of Stepfamilies is to answer all the important questions of stepfamily life--to fill in the knowledge gaps that undermine so many stepfamilies today and, crucially, to learn the effect of stepfamily life on children.  Based on one of the largest and longest studies of stepfamily life ever conducted, Stepfamilies interweaves the stories of real families to illustrate such study findings as how:

a stepfamily has its own natural life cycle
a stepfamily takes several years to develop into a family unit
a stepfamily is at greatest risk during the first two years
a stepfamily ultimately coalesces into one of three forms
a stepfamily must solve four basic tasks in order to succeed
a stepfamily can help heal the scars of divorce

Filled with emotional, gripping stories, Bray's findings pinpoint the three major transitions in stepfamily life and identify the riskiest issues that can throw a family into crisis.  Bray is the first to identify the several distinct forms that stepfamilies take and to explore which types of stepfamilies are more vulnerable than others and why.  He also describes the natural life cycle of stepfamilies and basic tasks all stepfamilies must undertake to succeed.  With a wealth of insight into the positive effects of remarriage, Bray shows how a loving, well-functioning stepfamily can lessen the trauma of divorce and restore a child's and family's sense of security.

Most stepparents remarry with the highest hopes and new resolutions for a better life.  Never before have their unique needs been addressed in depth. Through insightful case studies and practical advice, Stepfamilies reveals how a strong, stable stepfamily is as capable as a nuclear family of nurturing healthy development, of imbuing values, of setting limits and boundaries, and of providing a structure in which rules for living a moral and productive life are transmitted, tested, rebelled against, and ultimately affirmed.  Bray's positive message and fascinating findings--many of which defy intuition--will put stepfamilies on the road to lifelong harmony.

From the Hardcover edition. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (16)

4-0 out of 5 stars Interesting study results
Not sure this is what I was looking for when I purchased this book. It basically defines three types of step-families. I was looking for more of an advice book.

3-0 out of 5 stars Exercise in intellectualizing stepfamily dynamics
This is a good source of reference for understanding stepfamily dynamics. What I found difficult was the style that it was presented. I found the book rather intellectual, and scientific, with references to actual people as "project families." As anyone living the experience of being in a stepfamily, it is not ascience. I also found the book lacked examples of culturally diverse blended families.Overall, however, the benefits of this book outweigh the negatives. It is a valuable resource for 'cutting one's teeth,' so to speak, if you're looking for an intro into the complexities of blended families.

5-0 out of 5 stars Got a lot of needed answers
I was searching for a book that might help explain and provide answers to many of the complexities of blended families. Being a divorced mother of an adolescent daughter with a long-distance nonresidential parent is challenging enough let alone bringing a new relationship into the mix.

This book was solid. It was like reading about my own family. All the behaviors of all parties involved and all the dynamics of each relationship were exactly what we had gone through, what we're going through now, and what we'll likely be facing as a family in the future. It not only provides closure that you're indeed not nuts, nor dysfunctional, nor uncommon but the book also give advice - from a clinical psychologist who took an interest specifically on the children of blended families - which is where the focus of all parties should be.

Overall, a great book for women looking at entering new long-term relationships/marriage. I'm also recommending this book to the step-parent in our family. As a male entering into a pre-existing family (that of parent and child) this book provides an explanation of the child's behavior and how not to take a lot of it personally. It touches on dealing with an ex-spouse. It explains the existence of an Outsider Syndrome, that it is natural phenomenon, and how to handle it.

The affects of divorce on children last well beyond the first few fragile years. They last a lifetime. Becoming educated about the risks and rewards of divorce and remarriage where children are concerned will help re-instill what confidence was lost over the breakup. Confidence children need as they enter into their adult lives and establish their own relationships.

4-0 out of 5 stars An Interesting Study of Stepfamily Life
This book is a "scholarly" work, but still readable. The author teaches at Baylor University and did a clear, lengthy study of certain types of stepfamilies in Texas. The results are highly interesting. Anyone who cares about stepfamily life would benefit by reading this interesting analysis.

George Barna and others are reporting that the divorce rate inside the church is the same as outside. Why isn't Christianity responding with more help for divorced people and stepfamilies? If you're interested, search Amazon for books by Rev. Ron Deal and Dr. David Frisbie, two experts in this.

Bray's book belongs in the library of everyone who studies stepfamilies.
It is well-written, thoroughly researched, and highly interesting.

Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.
I also highly recommend: Happily Remarried: *Making Decisions Together *Blending Families Successfully* Building a Love That Will Last

4-0 out of 5 stars Good insight for parents in stepfamilies
Bray's research gives those of us struggling with stepfamily life a lot of helpful, supportive information.He focused exclusively on families in which the children are living with their biological mother and stepfather but from my experience, which is not that sitiuation, I'd say people in any sort of stepfamily arrangement could benefit from reading the book.And there is a chapter on stepmothers that was gleaned from Bray's interviews with women in his project group whose new husbands had children of their own. ... Read more

3. The Smart Step-Family: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
by Ron L. Deal
Hardcover: 240 Pages (2002-10)
list price: US$17.99 -- used & new: US$7.07
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764226576
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Ron Deal explodes the myth of the "blended" familyas he provides practical, realistic solutions to the issues thatstepfamilies face. He helps remarried and soon-to-be married couples

Recognize the unique personality and place of each family member
Solve the everyday puzzles of stepparenting and stepchildren relationships
Learn communication skills to deal with ex-spouses
Honor families of origin while developing new traditions
Invest the time to grow their stepfamily slowly rather than look for instant results

No two stepfamilies are alike, and the principles, information,illustrations, discussion questions, and activities in The SmartStepfamily help couples focus on their specific situation to buildhealthy marriages and peaceful families. Based on Ron Deal’snationwide stepfamily seminars, this material is equally helpful forcouples, small groups, pastors, and counselors. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book for this topic!
I think Ron does the best job handling the topic of step families out of the books I've seen on the subject.VERY practical and based on principles that are good for anyone.He does come at it from a Christian perspective, but still quite relevant for those who don't subscribe to that viewpoint also.I think his book can assist many who are in this type of family situation and those of us who counsel or work with them.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Resource for Stepfamilies!
This book is everything it promises to be!It has been helping me and my husband, from the beginning, to wade through the obstacles of being a stepparent and a biological parent at the same time.My husband and I each have two children of our own that we brought to this second marriage, and this book tackles the real-life struggles we are facing in attempting to mesh our 3 girls and 1 boy, ages 4 through 18.It not only speaks on child-rearing issues, but on dealing with ex-spouses and ex-in-laws!This is a MUST-READ for all those entering into or in the throes of stepfamily life! It is practical, insightful, convicting and encouraging.(Another good read is "The Smart Stepmom," which is a branch off of this book.)

5-0 out of 5 stars Must have resource for blended families
This book has been an incredible blessing in my blended family's life. My marriage would not have survived w/out the help of this book. Read this book if you are in or thinking about entering a blended family situation.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful and realistic
This book helps step-families, in such a realistic way and helps biological and step-parents to improve their families by following some very practical steps. Every step-parent should read this book.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Smart Step Family: Seven Steps to a Healthy Family
I'll keep it short and to the point.My wife and I could have benefited tremendously from this book if we would have known about it sooner.Only after a year and a half of remarriage did we find ourselves in need of a tool to help and encourage us.We were amazed at how clearly the book identified the exact issues we were facing in our stepfamily.We are currently going through it a second time and are getting so many helpful tips from it.It is a reassurance to us that the issues we are going through are very typical for a stepfamily and at the same time we have a plan and a new attitude to apply to all of the unique situations we continually find ourselves in.This book is a must read for any stepfamily.Preferrably before you remarry. ... Read more

4. How To Win As A Stepfamily
by Emily B. Visher, John S. Visher
 Paperback: 224 Pages (1991-09-01)
list price: US$22.50 -- used & new: US$5.26
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0876306490
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Attempts to guide readers towards forming the remarried family, considering such issues as former spouses, new grandparents, and legal issues involving custody, visitation, adoption and financial arrangements. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great book for stepfamilies and their counselors
I used this book as a resource for a grad school paper on counseling stepfamilies.My professor, a practicing psychologist, suggested this book as a great source for stepfamily information.It is a very thorough book, bringing attention to many issues facing stepfamilies.This book also contains many useful suggestions for stepfamilies, future/potential stepfamilies, and those working with stepfamilies.

5-0 out of 5 stars Very, very helpful!
This is a great book!!!It was an eye-opener.My husband and I both read it and said, "Ah, that makes a lot of sense.No wonder!"I would suggest that every couple thinking about getting married (where children are involved) should pick up this book and read it.Being in a blended family is definitely MUCH harder than the nuclear family, and potential stepfamilies should go into it having realistic expectations.This book will give you a bird's eye view of what's ahead and help you decide whether or not you are ready for the challenges.

4-0 out of 5 stars A good read and helper
Though I did not walk away from this book feeling that this book is the best so far or that it had all the answers, it was a greatsource for building knowledge and insight into how to handle the stressors of blending families. One can never believe just how stressful times can be with your wonderful children and with the new spouse that you love and have married...it is so hard to understand how these good people just can not get along.The plus to this book is that is goes into what it is like to begin dating after divorce, planning the marriage and a great insight into situations that will SURELY happen. It's kinda like childbirth....one thinks they can handle it...I am strong...I won't need special technqiues to get through it...well...look out...you are not that special..grin. In addition to a great therapist....this book will be a welcomed addition to your support system.

5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Guide for Stepfamilies
A must-read for anyone struggling with step family issues.I first bought and read this book over ten years ago when I married a man with 2 teen-aged children.I am certain that the advice saved our marriage - and I gave thebook to one of my friends to successfully assist her with her step-familyissues.The Vishers successfully identify the core issues, problems, andtrouble spots inherent in step-families.They offer sound advice andsolutions that work.They also explain typical scenarios and situationsthat arise in these trying step family environments - and againtheysuggest sound and viable solutions that get postitive results.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful book
This author has lived the experience and speaks from a very deep well of collected wisdom.The Vishers have been involved in helping step families for over twenty years.Any family who has transited divorce and is nowbeing reorganized through remarriage can benefit enormously from this work. ... Read more

5. Secrets to Stepfamily Success
by Gloria Lintermans
Paperback: 316 Pages (2010-06-16)
list price: US$33.95 -- used & new: US$22.25
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1605944181
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
THE SECRETS TO STEPFAMILY SUCCESS offers tools that can significantly lower the alarming 70% rate of step and blended family divorce, helping families evolve into highly nurturing, reliable refuges of warmth, safety, encouragement, strength, caring, and joy.Step and blended families have a unique dynamic with which couples must cope, along with all the other normal challenges of life and marriage. See how these families differ in up to sixty structural and dynamic ways from typical intact biological families--including consisting of two co-parenting homes and ex-spouses--and learn how to successfully recognize and manage these challenges.For most couples, trying to build a successful remarriage can mysteriously bring out their deepest personal fears, longings, shames, and hopes. The key to not only survival, but living this journey well, begins with discovering opportunities to heal and to succeed; it is not about blame or badness. With the right preparation and resources, a multi-home step or blended family can be a stable and solid foundation for co-parents and children. Gloria Lintermans is the author of THE HEALING POWER OF GRIEF: The Journey Through Loss to Life and Laughter, THE HEALING POWER OF LOVE: Transcending the Loss of a Spouse to New Love, THE NEWLY DIVORCED BOOK OF PROTOCOL: How to Be Civil When You Hate Their Guts, and RETCO CHIC: A Guide to Fabulous Vintage and Designer Resale Shopping in North America & Online. Her articles have appeared in local and national magazines, and she is a retired newspaper columnist whose column has been syndicated in English and Spanish language newspapers worldwide. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (10)

5-0 out of 5 stars Meeting Gloria Lintermans
Recently I had the great pleasure to interview Gloria Lintermans and discuss her fabulous book entitled "The Secrets to Stepfamily Success: Revolutionary Tools to Create a Blended Family of Support and Respect" on my radio show `Living on Purpose'.

Thoroughly researched and engagingly presented, fascinating and detailed information fills the pages of Lintermans' book. An invaluable and essential resource for all people involved with, and about to become involved in a stepfamily, Lintermans addresses a full range of issues, including finances, communication, addiction, identity, trauma, grief, roles, rules and problem solving. These issues, which are all important aspects in any relationship, have an exponential impact when applied to the stepfamily environment, which differs in 60 different ways from an intact biological family, as evidenced by the author's research. Once readers have reviewed the implications of the stepfamily model as illustrated by this instructive book by Lintermans, at the very least they will be guided by much more information than the majority of people who create stepfamilies with little forethought about the effect on the children involved.

Our interview, featured on WomensRadio in October 2010, is heard through this link:
http://www.womensradio.com/users/Lynn-Thompson/85/episodes.html. Gloria spoke informatively and with clear passion about her findings, including what she considers to be the main ingredient for success for members of step and blended families: respect.

I have warm appreciation for Gloria Lintermans for her visionary concern for children and their families, through which this inspiring (and sobering) book "The Secrets to Stepfamily Success" was created.

Lynn Thompson, Vancouver Island, B.C. Canada, [...].

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for StepFamily members and therapists who work with them
Gloria Lintermans has written a golden book which honors the unique qualities of StepFamily life. Her wisdom applies to all families in many ways, but the complexities and complications of being in a stepfamily are special.She deals honestly, compassionately and with great insight into how to turn those sometimes challenging issues into strengths which make stepfamilies such a solid part of our culture, producing successful and loving and loved human beings.Her book is optimistic and provides solid information on how to be one of those highly successfulstepfamilies we all wish to be.My experience is that many times Parenting classes and books do not address the unique issues of stepfamily life and can leave stepfamilies feeling discouraged as so many exercises and suggestions cannot be implemented in a stepfamily.This book adds the missing pieces for all of us who work with stepfamilies, and are in one. Eleanor Spackman Alden,LCSW, BCD; [...]StepWisdom: Knowledge from the Ages for Successful StepFamilies

5-0 out of 5 stars Secrets for all families, step or otherwise
Secrets to Stepfamily Success truly relates to all families, step or otherwise. With insightful gems on every page, this book teaches communication skills everyone can benefit from,regardless of the relationship. The chapter on grief is particularly helpful, addressing feelings that often get swept under the rug.

5-0 out of 5 stars Definitive
Gloria Lintermans new book, "the Secrets to Stepfamily Success", brilliantly tackles the exceedingly complex, multifaceted and highly emotional issues created by the merging of two families.The rosy romance and excitement of the cohabiting couple give way to the reality of the newly blended step parents taking on the difficult responsibilities created by the joining of two families.The unspoken fears of new roles in a step parenting unit are enormous.Lintermans book is an invaluable guide to all members of the new family.This book should be required reading for anyone contemplating the difficult but rewarding role of becoming a step parent.SH

5-0 out of 5 stars A Step in the Right Direction
Gloria's book pinpoints not only the obvious hazards facing stepfamilies (children and finances), but digs deep to expose and address the hidden anxieties and pain that so often undermine them.
Because stepfamilies are at high risk of re-divorce - about 75 percent fail - she offers valuable insights into why some break up and others survive. With warmth, humor and compassion, she offers tips on healthy remarriage, realistic expectations and win-win problem solving.
I wish Gloria's book had been available when I became stepmom to four children who were unexpectedly dropped into my honeymoon home years ago. Maybe it wouldn't have saved my marriage, but it would have saved me and the children considerable grief. This is a must-read for anyone considering, or in, a stepfamily. I can't think of a better gift book than this for any stepfamily, even one with no apparent problems. ... Read more

6. The Stepfamily Survival Guide
by Natalie Nichols Gillespie
Paperback: 224 Pages (2004-09-01)
list price: US$12.99 -- used & new: US$1.19
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0800759214
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Statistics tell us that one in three Americans is a member of a stepfamily. Though rarely acknowledged in churches even today, millions of Christians struggle with the obstacles common in divorce and remarriage. A stepmother herself, Natalie Gillespie offers hope and healing to stepfamilies who are striving to achieve harmony in their households. This handbook addresses the painful issues many stepfamilies must work through, including part-time parenting, discipline, issues with former spouses, and intimidating legal battles.The Stepfamily Survival Guide contains practical solutions to common problems and resources beneficial to stepfamilies. The author also shares from her own experience and gives advice and encouragement on how stepfamilies can both thrive and glorify God. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

3-0 out of 5 stars Misleading
This book should clearly state in the subtitle that it is written from a Christian perspective. There is certainly a market for this sort of book, as one can clearly see from the other reviews which are otherwise positive, and you would think that the author would want to advertise this book to exactly that Christian market. But that isn't what happens. Instead, it's marketed to step-families in general. I'm growing weary of books where Christian authors try to "hide" their religious perspective to the prospective buyer, only to reveal it in abundance inside - they do this to appeal to a wider audience, but it isn't ethical. How would the other reviewers feel had they purchased this book only to discover it was written from a Buddhist, Mennonite or Christian Science perspective? Yes, perhaps Christianity is popular in North America, but it is by no means universal, and by no means the only "way" for a stepfamily to survive.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the Best Resources for Stepfamilies
This is one of the best faith-based resources for stepfamilies that is currently in print. With this book, author Natalie Nichols Gillespie joins the ranks of first-rate stepfamily experts, including Rev. Ron Deal and Dr. David & Lisa Frisbie.

Life in a stepfamily can be messy and difficult. How do you discipline the kids, and who takes the lead in that? How do you deal with immature and/or irresponsible former partners or relatives? These and many other questions are addressed honestly and openly in this well-written book.

If you're already in a stepfamily, or praying about forming one, this book can help you think through the issues and make wise choices. Very well done!

Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.
I also highly recommend: Happily Remarried: *Making Decisions Together *Blending Families Successfully* Building a Love That Will Last

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical Guide
While one could blame sky-high divorce rates on a multiplicity of factors, one reason is approaching a life-changing decision on the basis of impulsive, romantic feelings. In her eminently practical book, Natalie Nichols Gillespie spells out dozens of pitfalls awaiting second marriages, especially when children are involved. Then she goes further, listing numerous suggestions and corrective measures. The Stepfamily Survival Guide is packed full of common sense; I wish it would have been available before I married into a ready-made family. Likewise, this book can wave cautionary flags for people embarking on remarriage after the death of a spouse. Still, it will be most useful for parents with children who are preparing to make the courageous leap into "yours, mine and ours." And, to those who have left the cliff and are struggling to keep from crashing.

5-0 out of 5 stars Smart and inspiring....
Throughout this book, Natalie Gillespie's reliance on God and prayer and total surrender of her steplife to Him is apparent and recommended. That constant reminder sustains weary stepparents and helps us gather our strength for challenging times. And while Gillespie doesn't ignore any difficulties stepparents face, this book is extremely positive in its outlook and powerful in its message: you can thrive as a stepparent, and here's help.

She sums up the theme of this book early on: "By sending his only son to live in a situation similar to our stepfamilies, I believe God showed his love for our stepfamilies. He might hate divorce, but he loves mending broken lives that are laid at his feet."

The author begins her book with the marriage - that's what creates the stepfamily and that's what must survive the toughest times. More vulnerable than stepparent/stepchild relationships, the husband/wife relationship will determine if the stepfamily lasts. Through this section and in all her chapters, Gillespie offers 'common problems to consider,' and `solution suggestions.' You won't see yourself in every scenario, but you'll be able to take her advice and apply it to the holes in your steplife.

Gillespie also includes discussion questions that focus on the future or deep internal issues we are sometimes too much in love (in the beginning) or too tired and overwhelmed (a little later) to consider. Throughout, the book is concrete help and guidance for stepparents at all levels.

Gillespie discusses the kids, including bonding, being a part-time parent and more, and building the fragile stepparent/stepchild relationship. She also tackles how to integrate the stepparent into the discipline plan for the family. The author calls for healing in relationships with former spouses and foresight and courage when legal matters intrude on your steplife.

The book concludes with a generous collection of Scriptures, organized by topics, including love, peace, kindness, anger and more. The author also includes an index of resources for stepfamilies. This book is one you'll want to add to your collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource for Stepfamilies
This well-written book by Natalie Nichols Gillespie is jam-packed with whitty anecdotes and practical advice. The author draws on her own experiences in a stepfamily with many children. Relating to stepchildren and learning how to love even those who don't want to be loved are strong components of the book. The book offers advice on handling discipline, former spouses and co-parenting. She draws on a Christian perspective and encourages stepparents to be positive and encouraging to stepchildren and take the high road, even with ex-spouses who are belligerent or hostile. Discussion questions at the end of each chapter help stepparents explore their own feelings and reflect on how their own stepfamily operates. She encourages her readers to take a strong introspective gaze into their own thoughts and feelings, leading them to reflect on how they can improve their stepfamily relationships. This is a great book for new stepfamilies just forming and even seasoned stepparents. ... Read more

7. Strengthening Your Stepfamily (Rebuilding Books)
by Elizabeth Einstein, Linda Albert
Paperback: 272 Pages (2005-10-24)
list price: US$17.95 -- used & new: US$8.84
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1886230625
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
One of three Americans is now a stepparent, a stepchild, a stepsibling, or some other member of a stepfamily. Stepfamilies are different. The "old rules" that govern traditional families don't necessarily apply, and each stepfamily must define its own "new rules" that will work for a unique blended family. Einstein and Albert bring to this manual decades of experience as stepfamily counselors and consultants, acclaimed writers, and stepparents themselves. The result is clear, down-to-earth, expert help for couple relationships and parenting in what some call "the jigsaw puzzle family." Among the many challenges dealt with in this comprehensive guidebook: overcoming unrealistic expectations, debunking myths, decision making, building effective communication, establishing sound discipline, handling stepsibling rivalry, working with non-custodial parents... and more. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

3-0 out of 5 stars Very useful, readable introductory book - with limitations
I have specialized in providing professional education and therapy to divorcing, courting, and re/wedded couples since 1981. I am (a) 68, (b) a stepgrandson, stepson, and ex-stepfather and stepbrother, (c) an invited Board member of the Stepfamily Association of America, and (d) the published author of six personal-growth and family-relations books - four on stepfamilies.

I recommend this book above most others to readers who want an upbeat, interesting, realistic, readable introduction to stepfamily challenges and rewards. I do not recommend the book to anyone who wants to avoid or resolve core stefamily stressors and probable psychological or legal re/divorce.

There are many fine features in Einstein's and Albert's updated book: relevant cartoons, tables, guidelines, hilights, chapter summaries, 8 "workshop" sections, some vignettes, examples, and related questions; relevant references; lots of white space; a large font; a useful index; and a consistently positive flavor. An unusual, welcome feature is the authors' including proactive grieving as a requisite to long-term remarital and co-parenting success.

However, like most lay and clinical stepfamily authors, Einstein and Albert focus mainly on typical surface issues, and omit explanation and effective advice on these widespread underlying (primary) stepfamily stressors:

1) why and how to assess and reduce co-parents' psychological wounds from childhood (vs. divorce). In my experience, most divorcing-family and stepfamily adults appear to be significantly wounded - and don't (want to) know it, and what it means for them and their children and descendents. One thing it means is that most co-parents will be unable to follow much of the worthy advice in this book;

2) how to spot and reduce blocked grief in adults and kids. The authors DO acknowledge that all stepfamilies follow (and cause) a series of profound losses (broken bonds), but the authors don't suggest how to assess for blocked grief, and what to do about it. They also don't focus effectively on...

3) typical co-parent unawareness of five key topics: (a) normal personality formation, composition, and function; (b) primary human needs, and specific traits of high-nurturance families and relationships, (c) seven specific effective-communication skills, (d) resolving up to nine typical barriers to co-parenting teamwork, and (e) stepfamily realities, norms, and step-identity implications. The authors' well-meant treatment of these is generally simplistic and superficial; And they seem to gloss over...

4) What to do about the lack of qualified, effective stepfamily help in the media and most commuities, and how to evaluate and select effective (informed) stepfamily counseling, and support programs and materials.

In my clinical experience since 1981, these factors will often promote needy, love-dazed, courting co-parents to commit to the wrong people (mate, stepkids, and "other parent/s"), for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time. Then unless improved, the factors inhibit typical co-parents from identifying and effectively resolving these core personal, role, and relationship problems:


This helpful introductory book would profit from a chapter on how courting couples can make wise re/marital-commitment decisions, and another chapter on specifically how to spot and resolve four common interactive stepfamily stressors: (a) adults' psychologal wounds, (b) values and (c) loyalty conflicts, and (d) relationship "triangles."

For more perspective on this review and more (free) detail and effective suggestions on these topics, see:


5-0 out of 5 stars Making the Hard Part Easier
Elizabeth Einstein has "walked the walk" and even taught the walk. Her years of experience in the field of step-parenting have given her a depth of insight that is not easily found in the plethora of books on this topic. Her writing style is "user friendly" and while she pulls no punches, she does offer both useful and practical information on how to deal with situations that are usually fraught with peril. Even people who are not part of a stepfamily would benefit from reading this to gain a better understanding of what their friends, neighbors and loved ones who are face daily. Although Einstein was a pioneer in this area, her expertise and writing have stayed fresh and up to date.

5-0 out of 5 stars Steppingstone for Stepfamilies
With more and more non-traditional families these days, Ms. Einstein provides an excellent roadmap for navigating through complex areas of remarriage, children, unresolved emotions, unrealistic expections, communicatiion and discipline.For moreof an intro, listen to her recent (1/30/06) interview on Voices in the Family (whyy.org/91FM/voices.html).

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent resource and guide
This book is not only well designed and written and has really helpful information for me as a therapist, but I also recommend it to any one who is in a blended family.It is very useful as a way to work together to solve some normal problems and I use it as a way to start conversations with those with whom I am working. Elizabeth's personal and "road" experience shows in the excellent content in this book.I highly recommend it to every stepfamily, and anyone who works with them....that is just aboutEVERYONE!! ... Read more

8. The Step-Tween Survival Guide: How to Deal with Life in a Stepfamily
by Lisa Cohn, Debbie Glasser Ph.D.
Paperback: 128 Pages (2008-06-15)
list price: US$9.95 -- used & new: US$5.61
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1575422972
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Life as a preteen (a.k.a. “tween”) can be challenging. Life as a stepkid can be equally tough. Put them together, and it can be like climbing Mount Everest…daily. Step-tweens are not only caught between childhood and teenhood—they’re also often caught between two parents, two families, and two homes. This book lets them know they are not alone, helps them identify and express their feelings, and teaches them how to effectively communicate their wants and needs. The engaging format includes lively illustrations, quizzes, advice from other stepkids, “survival tools” to use when the going gets rough, and suggestions for what to do when nothing else seems to be working. With The Step-Tween Survival Guide, tweens will gain the skills and inspiration to both survive and thrive in a stepfamily.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

5-0 out of 5 stars Step-parent review of "The Step-Tween Survival Guide"
Lisa Cohn has a brilliant way of identifying, addressing and offering useful solutions to the issues that individuals face in stepfamilies.As a member of a stepfamily, I found her first book tremendously helpful and was pleased to see that she has another which focuses primarily on teens in stepfamilies.Her insight and experience will serve as a practical guide to the thousands who navigate their way through this challenging set of family relationships.

5-0 out of 5 stars Lively, Informative, Helpful
The authors really know what they're talking about. The illustrations and graphics are perfect for 'tweens and work really well with the testimonials. The advice is thoughtful, and well-researched. A great book to have lying around in plain sight if you're a blended family with 'tweens. They're bound to be drawn in by the friendly illustrations and testimonials from real kids.

5-0 out of 5 stars Wish I Had This Book As a Step Tween
Im a 19 year old step kid who wishes I had this book when i was younger and dealing with these issues. The book adresses a lot of the situations we delt with in our step family. Fairness, differnt rules in differnt houses, step parents who try to run the show, different personalities with step siblings aswell as step parents, and different parenting styles. This book gives great examples and great tips on how to deal with and handle these issues. It also showes how to learn from and make the most of hard situations one can be faced with in a step family. This book is helpful to not only tweens but to all kids in step families.

5-0 out of 5 stars Hopeful, Helpful, and humorous
This book is full of quotes and anecdotes from stepkids who provide a realistic view of stepfamily life - both the positives and negatives. The authors also provide engaging quizzes tips and tools that help kids in stepfamilies identify their feelings and learn how to communicate them to family members. The book includes fascinating stories from stepkids who learn how to turn negative situations into positives. The Step-Tween Survival Guide is full of hope, help, and humor. A great read not only for tweens, but for all stepkids.

5-0 out of 5 stars Suvival Guide helpful and entertaining
The Step-Tween Survival Guide is an excellent book for anyone in a stepfamily. It incorporates very honest, real life stories with great practical advice. There are even entertaining and helpful quizzes and survival tips. Lisa Cohn and Dr. Deb Glasser clearly know what they are talking about from personal and professional experience. I recommend this book to anyone who wants real, practical advice for the challenges we face in stepfamily situations. ... Read more

9. Smart Stepfamily Small Group Resource DVD, The: An 8 Session Guide to a Healthy Stepfamily
by Ron L. Deal
DVD: Pages (2010-03-01)
list price: US$69.99 -- used & new: US$34.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0764207725
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Ron L. Deal, president of Successful Stepfamilies and one of the nation's leading experts on Christian stepfamilies, gives couples keys to building a healthy stepfamily. The eight sessions--ideal for small groups or seminars--offer useable solutions for everyday living, practical tips for raising stepkids, and ways to strengthen the couple's marriage. Deal's personable presentation combines instruction and encouragement that affirms both husbands and wives and their intent to build strong families. The video presentation supports Deal's popular book The Smart Stepfamily. Along with the DVD, a downloadable Participant/Leader Guide is available. ... Read more

10. Help! A Girl's Guide to Divorce and Stepfamilies
by Nancy Holyoke
Paperback: 128 Pages (1999-09-01)
list price: US$8.95 -- used & new: US$4.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1562477498
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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The breakup of her parents can turn a girl's world upside down.This third title in the Help! Series answers girls' letters on every aspect of divorce - from the initial split-up to a parent's remarriage - and encourages conversation with parents when it's needed most.The book includes tips and quizzes, plus advice from girls who have wisdom to share. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Very helpful!
This book was wonderful.It opens up a dialogue for girls and allows them to ask questions and express their feelings.Most kids don't know what to ask when a divorce happens so they act out or keep it all bottled up inside.This book encourages the child to talk with their parents, teachers, counselors, friends so they can have a healthy grasp on what is going on around them.I would highly recommend this book to any girl that has been through or is going through her parent's divorce.Don't assume your children are okay just because they act okay.Get this book and allow them to see that their feelings are natural and learn ways to cope.

5-0 out of 5 stars We use this book as a client resource
The most challenging question we get as divorce mediators is "how do we tell the kids?" and "how do we help them process it?"We give parents the book "Dinosaurs Divorce" for little kids but this book is good for kids who are a little older.It would be a great book to read with your child, or read before your child and then give it to her and bring up the topics so you get a chance to have a real conversation. The book offers lots of helpful tips designed to help kids adjust and it also broaches tough subjects, like jealousy, what to do if your parents are dating and you feel funny about it. All in all, this is pretty in depth for its brevity and I like the tone.We keep several copies in our client library at all time to give to parents who are struggling.

5-0 out of 5 stars very thankful
regardless of how amicable my ex and i worked to make our divorce, it still was an adult situation that our daughters had to contend with. this book was found by my then 8 year old daughter on our local library shelves. i will admit to being skeptical since it was part of the American Girl library. but, after MANY overdue fines and countless rereads, i finally opted to purchase this book. it does a great job of simply and clearly explaining a wide variety of topics without talking down to the reader. she revisits the pages often, reads them with me and shares information with her younger sister. at the risk of sounding over the top, i'm very grateful that this book is a part of my daughter's library and our lives.

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, excellent tool
This book is an absolutely excellent resource tool for any professional who wants to help a young girl to better cope and understand divorce. I am a psychotherapist and I give my young clients this book and I have gotten excellent feedback. Enjoy.

5-0 out of 5 stars This saved my child's dignity.
There is so much horror in divorce. It's bad enough from the adults' perspective, but as a child who is catching only bits and pieces of a larger picture, it can pull the rug out from under her feet. My six-year-old daughter clung to this book for weeks, reading and absorbing the honest information on the pages. She learned how to take care of herself emotionally, how not to get pulled into a needy parent's net, how to answer questions about her parents' divorce and how to accept her new circumstances and move on with grace and dignity. Now, a few years later, we still bring it out to deal with new issues and remember how to handle old ones. ... Read more

11. Stepfamily Realities: How to Overcome Difficulties and Have a Happy Family
by Margaret Newman
Paperback: 257 Pages (1994-04)
list price: US$16.95 -- used & new: US$24.14
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1879237695
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Providing practical information and effective advice, this helpful guidebook helps stepfamilies understand and cope with the special problems and issues that arise in new family relationships. Simultaneous. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Things Will Never Seem As Difficult Again!
Blending my two and his three into a happy family of seven seemed a daunting task at first. This book was by far my favorite at addressing the many concerns our family was facing.

No blended family is without conflict, but all blended families have the ability at resolution, and this amazing book said it all.

One of the best things about the book, is that it doesn't simply identify and address these situations, it comes up with solutions and ideas to help your blended family succeed in a comfortable way. The bond of family is strong, and this book plainly, yet pointedly shows you how to maintain the strong bond through all types of conflicts.

A definite must read for any step or blended family.

5-0 out of 5 stars Its a great start....
As a mother of two sons and remarried...going through the big time ups and downs of blending families, this book was the best so far in identifying the problems, concerns and conflicts in blending families and, also, for realistic suggestions on coping and living through these tough times and hopefully developing a comfortable living situation.

5-0 out of 5 stars A must read for any stepparent adjusting to stepchildren!
This book is a remarkable resource for me as I adjust to two teenage stepsons.The process of adjustment ~ for the entire family ~ can truly be a difficult one.Believe me, I know!"Realities" offers somecommon sense ways to refresh your perspective.Common sense that cansometimes be difficult to find on one's own in the midst of turmoil.The"Take Time" sections encourages stepparents to make an honestevaluation of specific issues.

"Stepparent Realities" has, in avery short time, improved the dynamics in my relationships with my stepkidsand my husband. ... Read more

12. Family Rules: Helping Stepfamilies and Single Parents Build Happy Homes
by Jeannette Lofas
Paperback: 128 Pages (1998-11)
list price: US$12.00 -- used & new: US$2.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 157566352X
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Would you like to create a well-run family team where you are the leader?Would you like to come home to a house where everyone says "please" and "thank you," shares housework and enjoys dinner together?Do you long for a homelife where children feel loved and cared for and you feel respected and in control?

The Secret is in Family Rules---straightforward, no-nonsense principles and essential solutions for making house rules work. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected, but still highly recommend.
I wish this book had more advice on the interactions between stepparents and the kids.With that said, I was very pleasantly surprised at the many great ideas she had to implement security, reliability, and traditions into the family.My man and I disagree quite a bit on the rules and disciplining of my son and this helped out work things out together before we enforced them.

3-0 out of 5 stars mixed bag
This is a very practical nuts & bolts book about how to structure single-parent and blended homes. The tone is a no-nonsense reminder that parents need to parent, not befriend, spoil or placate their kids.A good reminder for many of us, probably.However, the author's approach feels bossy to me. Experts rarely agree on any aspect of parenting; instead of acknowledging that, she'll just present her approach as the correct one. For example, on the fairly controversial subject of allowances, surprise, surprise: of the myriad approaches out there, the way *her* birth family administered allowances is the correct one!Another major turnoff for me was her discussion of bedtime rituals for her son, Lars.When he was between the ages of 5 and 10, she would go out (on the town, on dates, etc.,)after he went to sleep approximately three times/week.There is no mention of a baby sitter, baby monitor, or any other way to ensure his safety and security.After I read that, I had a hard time accepting this woman as an expert on *anything* I would recommend Mom's House, Dad's House: Making Two Homes for Your Child as a better book that covers everything this book purports to, and much more.

3-0 out of 5 stars strict!!
I found this book to have some great points about how parents are in charge and children should not run the household. I believe that children need and want boundaries and limits to feel safe and loved. However, I found the author's tone to be overly strict and a little oppressive for the children.

5-0 out of 5 stars Family Rules
Family Rules is a how to do it manual for managing the stepfamily. Adults need guidance for dealing with the chaos that
usually ocurrs when a stpfamily is formed. Children need the security of knowing what is expected of them. This book very much helps. I recommend this book to my clients.

5-0 out of 5 stars Practical, realistic, and in the "Top Tier"!
As a new stepmother, I've read close to 20 books on stepfamilies, countless books on marriage, and quite a number on parenting.(Can you tell I'm a teacher?)This is one of my favorites, largely because it diverges from the standard "psychology and philosophy" to emphasize the nitty-gritty, practical daily realities of sharing life and household space with children, particularly children who aren't biologically your own.

Having taught 7th grade and become a pretty vocal fan of clear expectations and consequences, I found I agree with the vast majority of Ms. Lofas' "rules".She has a desperately-needed perspective that benevolent adults are supposed to be in charge of the family, and offers countless practical steps to accomplish things such as:dinnertime rituals, chores, bathroom habits, bedtime customs, manners, adults' bedroom privacy, showing gratitude, tone of voice in communication, not accepting excuses, etc.

Much of these are exactly the issues that have come up in conversation and required some resolution in our new family.(I genuinely believe this is a helpful book even for families that don't have the added layer of complexity that stepfamilies encounter.)These guidelines are designed to ensure respect, order, and healthy boundaries within families; and to develop responsible character in children.This is one of the few books that I am campaigning loudly for my husband to please read before the children come to live with us. ... Read more

13. Making Peace in Your Stepfamily
by Harold H. Bloomfield, M.D.
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1993-01-04)
list price: US$10.95 -- used & new: US$1.68
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0786880171
Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description
Here are innovative ways to defuse inevitable hostilities in blended families, cope with common fantasies of instant success, end power struggles, and encourage communication. Featuring exercises, visualizations--and a comprehensive bibliography and list of helpful organizations--this indespensable guide is both practical and compassionate. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

3-0 out of 5 stars Interesting and warm, but misses 4 key points.
I have specialized in providing professional education and therapy to divorced, courting, and re/wedded couples since 1981. I am 66, a stepgrandson, stepson, and ex-stepfather and stepbrother, an invited Board member of the Stepfamily Association of America, a contributing editor to 'Your Stepfamily Online,' and the author of six books on inner-wound-recovery, effective communications, and high-nurturance relationships and stepfamilies.

Dr. Bloomfield's book is warm, encouraging, and readable - yet misses four core hazards that (I believe) every re/married partner needs to know:

1) why and how to assess and reduce co-parents' psychological wounds from a low-nurturance childhood (vs. divorce);

2) the origin and impacts of widespread blocked grief in adults and kids, and how to spot and reduce it;

3) adult unawareness of a) normal personality formation, composition, and function; (b) keys to high-nurturance families and relationships, (c) effective communication skills, (d) healthy 3-level grief, and (e) stepfamily realities and norms and implications, and...

4) little effective re/marital and co-parenting help (i.e. courtship coaching, classes, informed counseling, co-parent support groups) available in most communities and the media.

In my clinical experience, these factors often combine to block the best-intentioned adults from following well-meant stepfamily advice like Dr. Bloomfield's. If ignored, the factors inexorably promote needy partners choosing the wrong people to re/wed, for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time - and subsequent stresses and eventual re/divorce. Awareness, acceptance, and discussion of these (and related) factors can reduce three of these stressors, and help to achieve "Peace in Your Stepfamily."

For suggestions on how to choose practical (useful) books on remarriage, co-parenting, and stepfamilies, see this:

For a free course on building a high-nurturance stepfamily, see this:

... Read more

14. Becoming A Stepfamily: Patterns of Development in Remarried Families (Gestalt Institute of Cleveland Book Series)
by Patricia L. Papernow
Paperback: 448 Pages (1993-01-01)
list price: US$64.50 -- used & new: US$53.80
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0881633097
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

What determines whether stepfamilies remain together? What helps stepfamilies overcomes the difficulties of remarriage and become mutually supportive family units? How can mental health professionals better support this development? This book brings both clarity and depth to the unique and complex dynamics of remarried families. Patricia Papernow draws on interviews with over 100 stepfamily members, up-to-date research, a solid theoretical framework, and an empathic clinical sensibility to present an insightful model of stepfamily development, the Stepfamily Cycle. This details account of the sages of forming a lasting, cohesive group is richly illustrated by stepfamily members' own stories.

Becoming a Stepfamily describes the developmental challenges involved in building nourishing, reliable relationships between stepparents and stepchildren, in the newly married couple, and between different family groups who must learn to live together in a remarried family.  Papernow discusses the factors that influence the pace and ease of development, and she provides four full length case studies illustrating the varied paths through the stepfamily cycle to the successful remarried life.

The author offers therapists, clergy, school personnel, and others involved with stepfamilies a range of effective interventions, including preventive, educational, and clinical approaches. She provides practical guidance for helping family members deal constructively with the differing attachments of children to their biological parents and stepparents, assisting stepparents as they cope with feeling excluded from the powerful biological parent-child bond, and guiding biological parents torn between their spouse's need for intimacy and privacy and their children's needs for support and attention.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pastor
Well researched and well written. If you are serious about stepfamily counseling this ismust read

5-0 out of 5 stars Comments on Papernow's "Becoming a Stepfamily"
I am a stepfamily therapist and researcher, and an invited member of the Stepfamily Association of America's Advisory Council. I have read over 40 lay and clinical books on stepfamilies and stepparenting since 1979. "Bocoming a Stepfamily" is one of the two best ones I have read, on a complex and controversial subject. The other is Margaret Newman's "Stepfamily Realities."
A major plus for this book is the many stepfamily vignettes and quotes Papernow uses to illustrate her points. Another is her way of framing the developmental stages of four kinds of typical stepfamilies. A third plus is Papernow's insightful sketching of the respective viewpoints and needs of the biological parent and the stepparent in different phases of stepfamily development. A rare feature of her book vs. others in the genre is her acknowledging that many stepfamily co-parents (bioparents and stepparents) have significant psychological wounds from their childhood that impact their stepfamily relationships. Most stepfamily authors ignore this vital reality.
A last unique advantage to this book is Papernow's (accurate) description that stepparents (and their kids, if any) initially feel like "outsiders" in the new stepfamily system, and that a major task all members face is to acknowledge that, and work to balance the outsiders and insiders through expanding mutual empathy.
A major drawback to this book is Papernow's decision to say little about ex mates. She implies that a nuclear stepfamily excludes or minimizes them (and any new mate and stepkids they have). The benefit of this is to keep her book conceptually simple. The great deficit is that it ignores a major source of re/marital and co-poarenting stress (or potential strength) for adults and kids alike. Unless a remarried bioparent is a widow/er, a nuclear stepfamily system *always* spans at least three co-parents and two or more co-parenting homes - even if a non-custodial bioparent is inactive.
The only other major improvement I can see to this clear, well organized, reader-friendly overview book is to clarify Papernow's metaphoric concept of "stepfamily mapping." She rightly says a common task for new stepfamily members is to "build a map" of each other's part of their new family. The metaphor seems vague and somewhat confusing. I believe what she means is "work to clarify each other's needs, new roles, and new stepfamily rules as you merge your biofamily cultures."

I highly recommend this useful book to courting and remarried coparents, clergy, and other human-service professionals.

For practical help on growing a high-nurturance stepfamily, see these free online articles [...]

5-0 out of 5 stars Papernow's book focuses on the real issues of stepfamilies.
In 1994, my then fiance and I read together Papernow's book on stepfamilies in order to prepare us for the challenge of blending my five children and his eight children (four of which were already married).This was so invaluable in giving me the perspective of all parties involved.Over and over through the years (it is now 2001) this book made me realize that my side of the various issues that come and go is not the only valid view of things.Time does make a big difference in settling issues and feelings. I think this book should be required reading before anyone undertakes the task of step parenting. It arms you with so many valuable insights before you have to learn by experience and wreck your marriage.Our marriage is going strong; this book did help.

5-0 out of 5 stars insightful and thorough guide for parents and professionals
While this book is written for professionals, it reads smoothly enough that anyone with a basic understanding of family dynamics should find it helpful.Of particular interest to families facing the challenges ofremarriage are the many interviews and case histories of families who havebeen there, done that. I would also recommend this book to anyprofessional who works with stepfamilies, as it contains clear models ofstepfamily development and the stages of forming long-lasting successfulblended unions. A ray of hope in the sometimes murky arena of steparenting! ... Read more

15. Divorce & New Beginnings: A Complete Guide to Recovery, Solo Parenting, Co-Parenting, and Stepfamilies
by Genevieve Clapp
Paperback: 382 Pages (2000-08-15)
list price: US$35.95 -- used & new: US$11.41
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0471326488
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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A timely revision of a compassionate guide to the practical and emotional aspects of divorce The first edition of Divorce and New Beginnings helped countless men and women emerge from ruptured relationships and build new lives. Enriched with new insights uncovered by researchers and in the author’s work with over 2,000 families, this sensitive guidebook provides a wealth of proven coping skills to help you weather the difficult times and eventually build new beginnings—for yourself and, if you have them, your children. Genevieve Clapp is with you every step of the way as you deal with and recover from your divorce, addressing your daily problems and long-term concerns with a real-world practicality. Utilizing numerous case studies and coping tools, Clapp provides you with a road map of what lies ahead, including tips on navigating problematic situations such as choosing a lawyer and dealing with anger and anxiety. Geared directly to your specific needs, Divorce and New Beginnings will help you nurture healthy, committed relationships and successful stepfamilies, protect your children and build a rewarding new life.

  • Includes updated information on co-parenting and new romantic relationships
  • Offers hundreds of practical suggestions and effective coping strategies based on the findings and collective insights of experts
  • Features a strong focus on children and divorce, with a step-by-step guide on fostering their long-term adjustment
... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive divorce survival guide
This is an ambitious book. Author Genevieve Clapp, Ph.D., tackles the divorce process from the practical to the emotional. She guides you through the initial breakup, the intense emotional aftermath, the return to single life and the challenges facing stepfamilies. Dr. Clapp also gives solid, actionable advice about co-parenting and helping your children handle the rupture in their lives. Although the book is hampered by endless repetition, and the constant citation of studies and research, this same weakness enables you to use it as a reference. You can read only the chapters that pertain to your situation and still get all the necessary information. getAbstract recommends Clapp's all-inclusive guide to anyone contemplating a breakup, in the midst of a divorce, or newly single.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Great Resource for Those Going Through A Divorce
My Mom picked up this book for me at a yard sale when I was in the very early phases of my seperation & divorce and I can't tell you what a lifesaver it was for me!
It's a great all around resource that covers the many different aspects of divorce/divorce recover, and even some good basic advice on what to expect during the worst part of a divorce - the legal wrangeling phase. The book also has lots of good information on how to help your kids during through the challenging times of a divorce.
I have given copy after copy to people who are going through divorces and they have all found it useful.

4-0 out of 5 stars Covers all bases
This book is a one-stop source for a very difficult reason to read a book...it's definately not to kill time. Since no one wants to read a book on how to divorce and start over...it's good that someone (Genevieve Clapp) took the time to make it organized and easy.Another good thing about this book is that it makes you evaluate or re-evaluate the decision to ever marry again. I think single women even considering marrying an 'at risk' guy should read it to see if it's worth the trouble. ... Read more

16. Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, and Interventions
by Lawrence H. Ganong, Marilyn Coleman
Hardcover: 284 Pages (2003-12-31)
list price: US$89.95 -- used & new: US$55.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0306479974
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The proliferation of divorces and remarriages at the end of the20th century has made the concept of the stepfamily a common one intoday's society. In the U.S., for example, half of all marriages areremarriages for one or both partners, and nearly one-third of thechildren in the U.S. will spend some time living in a stepparenthousehold before they reach adulthood. Relationships within theseblended families have their own characteristics, and much is knownabout their development. Despite advances in both research andclinical interventions, however, there has been little synthesis ofknowledge beneficial to both investigators and practitioners. Stepfamily Relationships: Development, Dynamics, andInterventions offers what has so far been missing in the field - acomprehensive, multidisciplinary text that provides a state-of-the-artlook at this important facet of family study. This volume examines thevariety of relationships within step-households as well as betweenhouseholds, focusing on internal family dynamics while maintaining acultural and historical viewpoint. The diversity and complexity offamilies is emphasized throughout, including gay and lesbianstepfamilies, stepfamilies of varying racial and ethnic backgrounds,and stepfamilies across the life course. It will be a welcome text andreference for all those who study and work with stepfamilies andfamilies in general. ... Read more

17. Living In A Step-family Without Getting Stepped On Helping Your Children Survive The Birth Order Blender
by Dr. Kevin Leman
Paperback: 288 Pages (2001-06-05)
list price: US$13.99 -- used & new: US$4.23
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0785266011
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
“When two families unite, they don’t blend, they collide,” says Dr. Kevin Leman, bestselling author of The New Birth Order Book. But he also believes, “You can blend a family without breaking it. The principles in this book will help you wage the battle of blending your family—and come up not only a survivor but a winner!”

By understanding the impact that birth order has on each family member, parents are better equipped to ease the transition into a new, different but functional family unit. Using his signature humor and real life examples, Dr. Leman provides both insight and practical advice about discipline, self-respect, parental authority, and the importance of the marriage relationship.

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Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars Among the Better Books on This Topic
Current research continues to refute old myths: For example, the silly notion that there could be a "good divorce" which would "not affect the children much" in their development and maturity.

Modern science reveals otherwise. Study after study shows that children of divorce continue to be impacted by family trauma long after they become adults and form their own families. Trauma happens.

Kevin Leman's book is reasonably light-hearted yet means business. He gives practical, strategic help to those who experience divorce either as one of the parting partners, or as a child of same. This is not pop psychology; it is weighty and on-target advice.

This is one of the better books on this topic. For more help from a faith-based perspective, authors Ron Deal, and Dr. David and Lisa Frisbie, have books here on Amazon which are hugely helpful for stepfamilies.

Barbara Sheldon, M.S.W.

5-0 out of 5 stars Helpful Book for Blending Families
I might not have a Ph.D or specialize in anything other than being the best parent I can possibly be to my two children, as well as to my significant others three children, however I can tell you, this book is an excellent read.

Although tailored to the step or blended family, any parent would find much of the information useful.

Understanding birth order can seriously change how you parent, having a more positive impact on your children involved in the blending family. The whole saying "Everyone has a place in this world", will never ringmore true, until you have taken the time to read Kevin Leman's books.

I have read over 20 other books geared towards step families, step mothers, blended families and this is the book I reach for constantly. It has made the biggest impact on our family, in an extremely positive way.

I highly recommend this book or any book by Kevin Leman for any blended family.

3-0 out of 5 stars useful, readable - and misses essential points
I have specialized in providing professional education and therapy to divorced, courting, and re/wedded couples since 1981. I am (a) 66, (b) a stepgrandson, stepson, and ex-stepfather and stepbrother, (c) an invited Board member of the Stepfamily Association of America, (d) a contributing editor to 'Your Stepfamily Online,' and (e) the author of six personal-growth and family-relations books.

I recommend this book to readers who want (a) a light-hearted, readable introduction to stepfamily life, and (b) more awareness on how birth-order affects family relations. I do not recommend this book to anyone who wants to know the core reasons most US stepfamilies are significantly stressful, and why millions redivorce or endure daily agony. The lack of an index reduces the utility of this book as a reference.

Like most lay and clinical stepfamily authors, psychologist Leman omits explanation and advice on these essential re/marital and stepfamily stressors:

1) why and how to assess and reduce co-parents' psychological wounds from childhood (vs. divorce). Most divorced and stepfamily adults appear to be significantly wounded - and don't (want to) know it or what it means;

2) the origin and impacts of blocked grief in adults and kids, and how to spot and reduce it. The author does acknowledge the relevance of healthy grief, but doesn't alert readers to blocked grief and what do about it;

3) co-parent unawareness of, and/or indifference to, (a) normal personality formation, composition, and function; (b) keys to high-nurturance families and relationships, (c) effective communication skills, (d) healthy 3-level grief, and (e) stepfamily realities, norms, implications, and hazards. And Leman omits...

4) the implications of little effective re/marital and co-parenting help (i.e. courtship coaching, classes, informed counseling, co-parent support groups) available in most communities and the media.

In my clinical experience, these unseen factors often promote needy, love-dazed courting co-parents to commit to the wrong people (mate, stepkids, and "other parent/s"), for the wrong reasons, at the wrong time. Then the factors inhibit co-parents from identifying and resolving core personal, role, and relationship problems like these:


For suggestions on how to pick practical remarriage, co-parenting, and stepfamily books, see this:

[...] ... Read more

18. The International Handbook of Stepfamilies: Policy and Practice in Legal, Research, and Clinical Environments
Hardcover: 612 Pages (2008-08-04)
list price: US$95.00 -- used & new: US$69.97
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0470114584
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Written by contributors from around the world, The International Handbook of Stepfamilies: Policy and Practice in Legal, Research, and Clinical Environments is a collection of research, legal, and clinical recommendations that fills a growing need for complex, re-formed families. Using the information in this book, which includes contemporary research and its implications, you will be able to consider stepfamilies in an international context. Understand the issues that clinicians face when they work with stepfamilies, both before and after formation, and gain more knowledge about this topic as the rates of family reformation increase. ... Read more

19. When Your Parent Remarries Late In Life: Making Peace With Your Adult Stepfamily
by Terri Smith, James P. Harper
Paperback: 288 Pages (2007-06-04)
list price: US$14.95 -- used & new: US$1.40
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1598690647
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Dealing with stepparents isn't just a kid's problem anymore. With more and more older parents remarrying, you could be one of the many adults having to deal with the issues that arise from these later-in-life unions. Luckily, Terri P. Smith is here to help you out with what to do after your parent walks down the aisle, again.

Smith deals with the conflicts that will come up over:

  • Sharing time between stepfamilies
  • Family rituals
  • Prized possessions
  • Wills, inheritances, and trust funds
  • Living arrangements
  • Caregiving and illness
  • Grandchildren--his and hers
  • Holidays and vacations

These practical solutions and emotionally satisfying answers will relieve the strain of your parent's remarrying, and allow you to enjoy your new extended family! ... Read more

20. Stepfamily Life Can Be Hell but It Doesn't Have to Be!: 7 Steps to Recreating Family
by Annette T., Ph.D. Brandes
Paperback: 255 Pages (2000-08-01)
list price: US$19.95 -- used & new: US$17.96
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0967134331
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Stepfamily life can be hell, and fewer than half of allcouples who begin a new family remain together. Recreating familywhile at the same time holding a new relationship together is fraughtwith complications. In this book Dr. Brandes presents in seven stepsthe secrets that make it possible for couples to buildnew-family(italicized) and save their relationship. Yes, stepfamilylife can be hell but it doesn't have to be! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I would have read this sooner!
When I married my husband, my stepdaughter already had 3 parents and didn’t need a fourth.I’ve always felt like the outsider, but no more! Read this book....there’s something for everyonewho lives with the challenges that are present in a stepfamily.You’ll feel empowered and better able to deal with these challenges.

5-0 out of 5 stars I wish I would have read this sooner!
When I married my husband, my stepdaughter already had 3 parents and didn�t need a fourth.I�ve always felt like the outsider, but no more! Read this book�.there�s something for everyonewho lives with the challenges that are present in a stepfamily.You�ll feel empowered and better able to deal with these challenges.

5-0 out of 5 stars Worked for ME!
As a "never been married," this book saved my sanity when I married someone with two teenagers.Great advice for parent - parenting as well as parenting in "new families."This book helped me with skills to stay out of the relationship with the "ex". Good advice, easy to read, and some really great ideas. ... Read more

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