Mama J on February 11th, 2009

OK, where were we on this topic of the role your spouse or partner plays in your stepfamily?  Last Wednesday, I described what, after lots of reading and experience, I believe is the most helpful (productive, healthy) role for the parent left in the home in which you, the stepparent, are also living.  We summarized […]

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Mama J on February 4th, 2009

We talk a lot about stepparenting on this blog.  However, successful stepparenting is integrally dependent upon the role the children’s parent (the partner you the stepparent live with) plays in the family.  As a family rebuilds itself and creates a new identity, the parent remains the key link between past, present, and future.  I’ve researched, […]

Continue reading about The Steadfast Parent’s Role in Stepfamilies

Mama J on January 28th, 2009

A reader recognizes the importance of a young adult child’s role in the household of a grieving family. By the way, if you have a “stepparenting a grieving child” question or comment, you can feed it to me one of three ways:  comment on this blog (click here to learn how), send me an e-mail […]

Continue reading about A Reader Writes: Lady of the House

Mama J on January 21st, 2009

If you are a stepfamily member, you might really appreciate the opportunity I’ll point you toward today.  One of my colleagues, Jacque Fletcher, and another stepmother, Erin Erickson, have created The Stepfamily Letter Project.  This is a blog where any stepfamily member can anonymously write a letter to another stepfamily member.  The letter can be heartfelt, […]

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Mama J on January 7th, 2009

Your turn:  If your spouse passed away, would you be the primary parent and guardian for your stepchildren?  If not, would you remain a part of their lives?  What feelings come up for you in either situation? While following other stepparenting blogs, especially those on my blogroll (scroll down the middle column), I pick up […]

Continue reading about For Stepparents to Ponder

Mama J on December 17th, 2008

Wondering how to relate to your second set of in-laws?  If all else fails, keep the spotlight on their relationship with your stepchildren (their grandchildren).  That is the relationship that most needs to flourish. When I started obtaining endorsements for my book, Stepparenting the Grieving Child, I picked up a lot of advice about what […]

Continue reading about The Second Set of In-Laws

Mama J on November 12th, 2008

Guest Blogger: Jacquelyn B. Fletcher Studies show that girls often exhibit more anxiety than boys do after a remarriage. This is an important fact for stepparents to keep in mind. While conducting interviews of stepmoms across the country, I was told more than once that stepmothers were concerned that instead of bonding over shared interests […]

Continue reading about Compassion Beats Competition

Mama J on October 22nd, 2008

Your Turn:  Where do you turn when stepfamily dynamics have you in a mood?  “…this angst brings me to what I call my ‘swing point:’ the point at which my thoughts and feelings cross to the dark side.”  As much as I try to stay positive, every once in a while I go into a […]

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Mama J on October 15th, 2008

I like to think of myself as a compassionate person, but sometimes my compassion allowance runs low.  I become too tired or too wrapped up in my own work and life issues to show compassion to my kids.  That’s when I lose sight of what I call “the good.” Before my stepchildren became young adults, […]

Continue reading about One Way to Find the Good

Mama J on October 8th, 2008

(And Then What Happened When I Was) In my very first post on this blog, I mentioned that I have a big, beating heart for kids.  Before I even had kids I signed up to be a mentor to ten-year-old girl who was classified by my mentoring organization as “at-risk.”  I never really found out […]

Continue reading about What Happened When I Wasn’t Trying to be Perfect