Step-sibling is a dirty word. It minimizes their value in the family. Being a step-parent, or any parent, is a thankless job. But, because your brood does not share DNA does not mean they are loved any less. Step parents still make breakfast, attend mind-numbing school choir concerts, play catch and read bedtime stories. And even if, way down in their deepest parts, they feel a different love than that towards their biological child, that is okay.
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There are a million levels of love. Step parents still show up, every single day, to raise their children. In most blended families, there is no favoritism, no lack of dedication and no excuses. And if there is, you have a problem in the marriage. You may not spend hours sobbing like you did in the early days, because you know they are stepping into a loving home with a wonderful family. You trust that they will be adored, scolded, challenged, and supported the same way they are your own home. And for that, all you inquiring minds, we are grateful.
Marriage is a lot of hard work and dedication. Parenting, whether together or apart is equally as hard. As long as the children come first for all parties involved, there is comfort in knowing you are doing the best you can with the cards that have been dealt. Photo Credit: Getty Images. A year veteran in the mother industry, Julie Scagell has recently added writer to her resume. In addition to a full-time job, she is a part-time taxi driver, laundry folder, booger picker and wine connoisseur.
She has a master's in psychology which has proved useless in trying to understand her preteen daughter. Spotlight Statistics. See References at the end of this page for details. Pew Research Center :. Most form stepfamilies, see above. Reports and by the Pew Research Center on adults in America updates our national statistics on stepfamilies for the first time in a decade. NOTE: these statistics are on adults and do not include children. Other Notable Statistics:. Americans marry, divorce, and cohabit more than any Western society.
They also start and stop relationships more quickly.
I am getting remarried. What is the best way to blend our families?
Children living with two married parents in the US have a higher risk of experiencing a family breakup than do children living with two unmarried parents in Sweden. The more parental partnerships transitions in and out of couple relationships that children experience, the lower their over-all emotional, psychological, and academic well-being. See reference details below. Special thanks goes to friends David H. Olson, PhD. Visit www.
Parenting in America
Statistics are divided into these topics :. This was said to be based on a U. Bureau of the Census report Someone mistakenly shared these numbers that are not supported by Census data. This has been confirmed by the Census itself.
See Endnote 2 below. There were ,, people in the US in Therefore, of all men and women age 15 and above All together Marriage, divorce, remarriage. Parke, M. Are married parents really better for children? What research says about the effects of family structure on child well-being.
Ages and stages
The consequences of divorce for adults and children. Journal of Marriage and the Family, 62 4 , Barna, George March, New Marriage and Divorce Statistics.
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Report released by The Barna Group, Ltd. Used with permission. Bumpass, L. The changing character of stepfamilies: Implications of cohabitation and nonmarital childbearing. Demography, 32, Carlson,, M. Family structure, father involvement and adolescent behavioral outcomes.
Journal of Marriage and the Family, 68 1 , Carlson, M. The prevalence and correlates of multipartnered fertility among urban U. Journal of Marriage and Family, 68, Carroll, J.
Family Relations, 52, Cherlin, A. Plans for parental remarriage can trigger a new difficult transition for children who now have to accommodate not only the loss of their original nuclear family, but also the introduction of new and alien "step" parents and siblings, possibly a move to a new house, and other related shakeups that turn children's world upside down again.
There is no real way to shield children from the need to adjust to these changes.here
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What parents can do to make the transition easier for children to manage is to talk with them about it, discussing how life might change after the remarriage, and encouraging them to ask questions and share their feelings about the changes. When blending a family, it's important for step-parents to understand that while they may be able to eventually develop a positive relationship with their new step-children, this process cannot be forced or rushed.
It's natural for children to feel loyal to their original parents and to worry what their "first" parents will feel or think if they warm up to step-parents. The development of positive feelings towards a step parent may cause a great degree of internal conflict within children who worry that they are disloyal. Step-parents are advised to explain to children up front that they do not want or intend to replace their original parents.
Instead, step-children should be told that the new relationship will be different then the one they have with their original parents.
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