After divorce, very (very) often, comes a stepfamily. Indeed, stepfamily relationships saturate the practices of lawyers, therapists, parent coordinators, judges, mediators, and family lawyers. Nonetheless, few receive training in meeting the often intense challenges facing “blended families.” These include “resistant” unhappy children, tangles over parenting, discipline, and the stepparent role, struggles over rules and values within the home and between children’s two homes. Add that the entry of a stepparent can ignite even the most collaborative co-parenting relationship. Relying on our knowledge of first-time families is not only unhelpful, it is frequently destructive.

In this workshop, Dr. Papernow integrates four decades of clinical work with a large body of increasingly sophisticated research to help you recognize each of five major challenges, give you practical evidence-based guidelines for meeting them, and avoid some “easy wrong turns.” This workshop will include demonstrations and provide handouts to participants.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of this workshop, participants will:

  1. Be able to describe some of the differences between a first-time family and a stepfamily.
  2. Be able to describe some of the challenges the stepfamily structure creates, and list some practical strategies to meet them.
  3. Be able to list some evidence-informed guidelines for parenting, step-parenting and discipline in a stepfamily.