Stages of the Stepfamily
© 2009 Bev Nodrick, RSW
Is your stepfamily developing normally?
To become a close-knit, well functioning family unit, all stepfamilies must pass through a number of distinctly different, developmental stages. Each of these stages has its own unique characteristics and demands. To a considerable degree, the challenges and demands of each of these stages must be 'mastered' before the family will be able to progress on to the next stage, and advance towards becoming a solid, well functioning family unit. Unfortunately, because these stages and the tasks they present often seem unclear and puzzling, stepfamilies are at considerable risk of becoming "stuck" in one or more of these stages.
How can you tell if your stepfamily is "stuck"?
Is life at your house full of stress and conflict? Does it seem like your family has been struggling with the same issues over and over again -- but without making any real progress? Are you feeling there is no hope? If so, it's very likely that your family has become "stuck" in one of these developmental stages.
How do we get "unstuck"?
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The Stepfamily Foundation of Alberta