Survive Step-Family Challenges During the Holidays

From the Show: HER
Summary: Holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion when families come together... right?
Air Date: 11/21/13
Duration: 10
Host: Michelle King Robson and Dr. Pamela Peeke, MD
Guest Bio: Patricia Papernow, EdD
Patricia PapernowDr. Papernow is in private practice in Hudson, MA, where she divides her time between clinical practice, supervision, and training. As a clinician, Dr. Papernow works primarily in the Internal Family Systems model, drawing also from her training in Gestalt therapy, attachment, trauma, couple therapy, interpersonal neurobiology, and learning disabilities.

Patricia works with, learns about, and teaches others about stepfamily relationships. She is widely recognized as one of the world's foremost experts on "blended families" and post-divorce parenting. Her second book, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn't has just been published to rave reviews.

Patricia is passionate about helping others to navigate the intense and often overwhelming challenges of this family form. A skilled and highly engaging presenter, she provides training and consultation to therapists engaged in clinical work with stepfamily members, as well as to guidance counselors, pediatricians, nurse practitioners, clergy, lawyers, judges and others who are often on the front lines with families. She is the author of numerous articles and book chapters and is often interviewed by national and local media. Her first book, Becoming a Stepfamily, is widely recognized as a classic in the field.
Survive Step-Family Challenges During the Holidays
Holidays are supposed to be a joyous occasion when families come together... right?

When a parent remarries, he or she attempts to begin a perfect “blended family." Television shows like The Brady Bunch and Modern Family may make it look easy; but they do not realistically portray the challenges with which most parents find themselves dealing. Since the Holidays are particularly stressful, all of your family issues can come to a head. 

During these holiday celebrations, a step-child may feel like an outsider. He or she may be uncomfortable in family situations, and even have an obligated desire to "take a stand," since loyalty lies with the other parent. 

With all of the pressure and differences, maybe there shouldn't be the expectation to "blend."

Step-families can come together at their own pace and in their own way.

Dr. Patricia Papernow, EdD, is the author of, Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships. In the book she draws on current research, a wide variety of clinical modalities and 30 years of clinical work with step-family members to describe the challenges faced, as well as plausible solutions.