The Session: A 30,000 Foot View of Step-Families

The Session with Tom Russell

09-11-2023 • 25 minutos

Raw Emotions, a Look at Managing the Step Family. Five Important Emotions That Are Common In Step Family Living

Luke 1:34-35

And Mary said to the angel, "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God.

First, let's define a step family:  Tom described a step family as a family created when one parent, with their own biological children, blends with another parent with their own biological children.  It may just be one one of the parents with children, but the idea holds.  A nuclear family, by contrast, is a family that has children by the same mother and father.  Managing the two require very different approaches, especially early on.

Five important emotions that are common and step family living

Loss and Sadness

·  The fear is you end up stuffing your sadness deeper and deeper until, of course, it spews up and out in the form of disrespect, disobedience or a lousy attitude.


·  I’m afraid of getting close to anyone. I’m not very trusting. With all I’ve had to live through, I keep waiting for it to happen all over again; the constant blaming and getting stuck in the middle. And I won’t let it happen again.”


·  The magical thinking of younger children sometimes leads them to make hasty conclusions about why something tragic has happened. Tracy believed she caused her parents’ divorce because she has ADHD. As an 8-year-old, she overheard them arguing just days before her father walked out about whether to medicate her, so she assumed that she caused the divorce.


·  Young children, coping with step family living are often times confused about. should they love or hate their stepparent. It confuses them because they see how their biological parents react to their former spouse.

·  Further confusion sets in when they are at their new step family house and the biological parent has set rules that are not supported in the new step family life. The child is left with what do I do?

Important things to DO in the Step Family

·  Do you go slowly with an emphasis on building relationships. More successful step families view the growing of the family as more so being cooked in a crockpot rather than a microwave.

·  It is important to talk about what the family would like for traditions to be developed in their family. It’s very possible that the children have past traditions that they really like but aren’t sure and the new step family if they would be accepted.

·  Most definitely for the stepparent would be getting into the child’s world. Go to the games or concerts, etc. and be supportive with no hidden agendas or expectations.