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Family and Child Development

Stepping Stones for Stepfamilies

Parenting can be a challenge in any family, but living in a stepfamily can add more issues to the parenting role. Children look at the world differently than adults. Partners forming stepfamilies expect joy, peace and happiness that may have been lost in earlier relationships Children may view the stepfamily much differently.

A stepfamily is a ready-made family from the beginning. Family members must learn to live together. Sometimes this is not an easy process which can take a lot of time. There are many stepping stones to creating a successful stepfamily. Numerous resources have been created for helping stepfamilies adjust to the very normal transitions they have to make for healthy family living. Stepping Stones for Stepfamilies, a program designed for the adults in a stepfamily, include:

A leader's guide (MF3098) is for delivering a one-hour awareness lesson on stepfamily living. The Presentation Power Point is designed to be delivered with this lesson for community audiences. The Train-the-Trainer Power Point is to be used for educating community professionals on how to deliver the lesson. The Fact Sheet (MF3097) can be used as a participant handout for this lesson both for community audiences and professional educators being trained on how to deliver the program. The fact sheet also can be distributed at health fairs, community family wellness events, and other such gatherings. The final page of the fact sheet does have an evaluation survey that can be completed and returned as indicated. The leader's guide and fact sheet are available in both English and Spanish.

The six-lesson home study course is a more comprehensive educational resource written in English and Spanish. Individual lessons are:

  • Taking Time to Think About My Family-Lesson 1 (MF2238a)
  • Building a Strong Couple Relationship-Lesson 2 (MF2238b)
  • Building Step Relationships-Lesson 3 (MF2238c)
  • Understanding a Child's Realities-Lesson 4 (MF2238d)
  • Understanding Financial and Legal Matters-Lesson 5 (MF2238e)
  • Working With Others-Lesson 6 (MF2238f) Evaluation (MF2238g)

Community educators can suggest this resource as a follow up when delivering the one-hour awareness lesson explained above. The home study lessons and evaluation surveys can be downloaded from the web and delivered as a packet to stepfamily audiences. Another option is to remind stepfamilies to go to the web each week to complete each lesson in the order that they are written. It is suggested that individual evaluation surveys be completed by both adults in the stepfamily who are taking the home study course.