Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching

When You’re the New Stepparent of a Teenager

Published July 2011: ParentUSACity.com

When You’re the New Stepparent of a Teenager

Article Excerpt:

Finding the perfect mix for a blended family takes time. Just as it takes time to warm up to a new friend or neighbor, stepchildren need time to absorb the changes in the family and to evaluate how to approach relationships. And when the stepchild is a teen, an extra set of challenges comes into play.

According to Patricia Schell Kuhlman, a counselor with special interest in attachment and bonding, relationships with an outside parent are complicated at any age. With teens, she says, “Going through the initial immersion stage with adolescent stepchildren is very challenging because their normal development needs for separation and independence from the family are in conflict with the need of the stepfamily to form new family bonds and relationships.”

An instantaneous bond may not happen, especially when a teen feels resentment toward parents and stepparents following a divorce or death. Therefore, the relationship must develop with input from both the teen and stepparent. Learning how to navigate the challenges requires patience and flexibility from both sides.

Read the rest of the story here.

– Shannon Philpott
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July 31, 2011 - Posted by | Feature Stories, Magazine Writing, Sample Work | , , , ,

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