Presented by the Stepfamily Foundation.
Written by Jeannette Lofas, Ph.D., LCSW
- Know that the rules for "The Family" are different from the biological family.
It can and will not function, as does a biological or traditional family.
The Family Now" is:
- Single mothers living with their children
- Fathers who visit their children
- Re-coupled, Re-married Stepfamily
- Partners where only one is a parent
- Or, each is the parent of children from a prior marriage
- Build A Strong Partnership.
A strong partnership equals a strong family. Honor each partner's point of view, no raised voices,
sarcasm, respect at all times, (no threats), "I'm leaving, equal time, time out, etc.
- Discuss your different views of family - Roles, rules, duties, responsibilities, forms and norms.
- Agree on the Rules of This House.
Remember children are members of two households and must be clear on the expected behaviors of both.It is OK that they are different, but must be defined in both the houses of the mother and the father. For most couples this can be a major “deal breaker. Consult the especially trained experts at www.stepfamily.org
- Use Your Knowledge of Management and Job Descriptions on the Job to Create These Rules and Ways of operating in your home.
For example: jobs in the home, business etiquette = expected manners, span of control and discipline.
- The Couple Agrees and Decides on the Rules
The policies and procedures.
- The Partners Explain the Rules to the Children
In house and visiting children.
- The Biological Parent Disciplines
- If The Biological Parent Is Absent -- Stepparent Says, "In This House we…"
The stepparent is the acting supervisor, or head of household, regarding agreed upon policies and procedures.
- About Money
Be clear and specific ASAP (see 10 Step to Money in the Stepfamily)