His Kids Her Kids
Summary: Blended family life is complicated to say the least. Balancing marriage, parenting, and stepfamily relationships is a messy and fragile task. We won’t always get it right the first time, but if you’re looking for encouragement, you’re in the right place. Your host, Sarah, a stepmom of 3, shares her experience and ideas to help you grow closer as a blended family.
Stephanie McHenry continues with some of the milestones in her process to harmonious co-family relationships. Stephanie transitioned from seeing herself as the primary source of security and love for her daughter to accepting her daughter’s stepmom as her “other mother,” enlarging her own belief about what it means to be a blended family.
Stephanie McHenry takes us on her journey from biased and bitter single mom to fulfilled and embracing co-parent. Stephanie shares her struggles and epiphanies, as she faced her fears and prioritized her daughter’s well-being.
Many times in blended families, the bonus parent will feel like their feelings are outnumbered or dismissed. There are many reasons for this, including complex parent-child loyalties that were forged in the devastation of death or divorce. Learn how to scale your spouse's defensive walls by embracing your own unique perspective, and speaking the truth with love.
"Jo" became a stepdaughter when she was 7 years old. In this podcast, "Jo" shares her experience growing up in two homes, each with a stepparent. As she grew, these relationships grew as well, but not in the same way. As parents and stepparents, we can learn from her story about how to support the children in our blended family as they discover who they are, and who they are to us.
Stepchildren need both nurture and structure from both their parent and their stepparent. However, often couples in blended marriages find themselves pitted against each other as they naturally find themselves leaning toward one over the other. This episode discusses do-overs and choices; corrective techniques that both parents can agree on to strengthen structure in their stepfamily!
How can you be the best stepparent (or parent) ever? Meet the child’s needs. Like the fictional Matthew Cuthbert gifting Anne of Green Gables with the store-bought dress of her dreams, or Bobby Bone’s stepdad taking him fishing (as told in the song Fishin’ with my Dad), we can forge strong relationships with our family members by knowing and aggressively satisfying their deepest needs. In this episode, Sarah discusses the five building blocks to a great relationship with your stepkids.
Being a stepparent comes with some serious temptations! I'll never forget the first time I saw the movie "Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" in theaters. The scene that struck me the most was when Frodo offers the One Ring to Galadriel. "You offer it to me freely?" she says. "I do not deny that my heart has greatly desired this." Just thinking about it, she tastes the power of being able to control the hearts and minds of all the world. "All will love me and despair!" she exclaims. Yet, she doesn't take the offered ring. Something comes over her and she gasps, "I have passed the test." In this episode, we will discuss the seductive call of control, and the vision we can embrace to overcome it.
How do you practically nourish and care for your blended family? We buy them clothes, put a stable roof over their heads, and prepare food. When I was still single, a friend once told me that parenting was much harder than marriage. "You actually have to SUSTAIN them," she said. We feed them, and keep them alive, but do we realize all the messages we are sending as we do so? In this episode I explore food as a powerful relationship-building tool, as well as how to use food and meal times to bring your family together as you respect boundaries, build memories, impart values, and celebrate preferences.
Blended family life is challenging. Do you ever feel like your stepchildren's biological or adopted parents get everything right, while you seem to never be good enough? How can a stepparent break through the crushing glass ceiling of being the relational outsider? In this episode we discuss: how to be emotionally resilient as we stumble through our stepchildren's expectations and disappointments; how to seek and incorporate their feedback into our habits; and the value of apologizing when we don't feel like we did anything wrong.
How did I become a stepmom? What makes this podcast unique and what does it offer your blended family? What are my stepfamily influences and underlying goals? Listen to this introduction and find out!