Step Parenting

May 7, 2013

MY BLOG, Step Parenting

In my experience as an educator, counselor, and life coach, by far the most challenging area of parenting is step-parenting.  For that reason, I have created a separate category on this website especially for those who are facing the unique challenges and, yes, opportunities that step-parenting affords.

Integrating two unique family styles, various personalities and preferences, differing traditions, pasts, and loyalties — to say nothing of birth order factors, bonding and attachment styles, and emotional traumas of varying degrees – is one of the most difficult tasks for any family in America today.  However, the odds of your success increase dramatically when you are able to see a picture of how a healthy stepfamily looks and acts.

That is one of the reasons for this part of American Christian Parenting: to give you a healthy picture of a successful Christian stepfamily based on God’s Word and the unique principles evidenced in our nation.  The key is in understanding the dynamics of stepfamily life and development, and making intentional decisions about how you will grow together emotionally, relationally, psychologically, and spiritually.  That is our goal.

We firmly believe the home is the primary context in which we learn and experience the character of love.  It is where individual character is developed.  It is the first sphere of government in our society.  “The principle of home-government is love, — love ruling and obeying according to law.” (Rev. S. Phillips, 1865)

The governing principles are the same for biological families as they are for step-families or adoptive families, but the application of the principle may be different according to the circumstance and situation.

Since the educational goal of the American Christian Home is the building of Christian Character, step-families afford each individual ample opportunity for such development – if we will only see these opportunities from God’s perspective.

Every journey begins with a single step.  Ron Deal, author of the “Smart Step-Family” likens the journey of building a healthy step-family to the Israelites taking possession of the Promised Land.  And just as the two and a half tribes who had already come into possession of their Promised Land were required to go before the rest of the Israelites, fully armed, helping them possess the Land for their portion, you need others who have traveled this way to walk alongside you.  Life is a long, long walk best taken in the company of trusted friends and those who have been down the road before us . . . so let’s journey together down this road of step-parenting (I’m one, too) — because . . . there is So much more!  There is a Promised Land to be taken!

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