Friday, March 12, 2010

Managing the Step Family: A Strategic Approach to Mergers and Acquisitions

You are entering a new dimension, an alien world where the regular rules of the road do not apply. It is the world of STEP FAMILY. No - not "Blended Family", because it is critical that you understand this sooner than later, Step Families do NOT blend, they collide. So hang on to your hat for the ride and prepare yourself for a more realistic approach to your merger or acquisition.

As a Master Certified Step Family Coach with The Step Family Foundation of New York, I would encourage you to do away with all myths and fantasies connected to dating when either you or your new partner have children from a former relationship. It is essential that couples relinquish any preconceived ideas of what remarriage with children from former relationships might look like.

Do not allow love, passion, excitement or hope to catapult you into any form of "blended family delusion." Love Me, Love My Children is not the motto that works. Wishful thinking, fantasies or idealized visions will get in the way of creating a map that will lead you to your intended destination - a thriving step family.

Instead, put on a set of clear lenses, roll up your sleeves and get ready to prepare, as you attempt one of the biggest challenges you have ever tackled. The more realistic, informed and mindful your are - the greater the likelihood that you will be successful as you move to connect two complex family systems in a meaningful way.

It is highly recommended that anyone attempting to forge healthy and positive step family relationships first develop an understanding about the unique behaviors and dynamics endemic of step families. Once understood, it is essential that couples work together as a team to create roles, rules and a concrete road map. As CEOS of your respective corporations, you will be well-poised to deal with your intended merger and acquisition in a proactive way.

Deborah L. Mecklinger, LL.B., M.S.W, A.T.C
Professional Coach, Mediator and Therapist


  1. HA HA HA!

    Dearest Deborah, How true the words are that you speak. I have to admit that when I saw your email address I thought, "Oh, NO! Here we go again, hang on!"

    My advice to all on this life path is; you're separated or, on your way to divorce, or divorced...own your part of all that and move on!

    Carry your own crosses, never give one to a child at ALL costs, even if you have to eat your tongue on a daily basis! Seek good help that is intent on finding resolutions and teaching problem solving skills rather than the many that unconsciously create conflict to make a living.

    Be honest with your children, but never say ANYTHING bad about their other parent; the one they have the right to love.

    Teach your children about the world and life, so that they can make their own judgements through those lessons.....if your children are in true danger, and you are certain that they not just your vehicles of revenge...get help to help them. The rest is just rhetoric-be wary of your own rhetoric, children grow to see through this, eventually.

    For the most part I have learned that to 'do unto others, as you would have them to do unto you', is the resounding advice of divorce.

    Good luck!

    -a mom of 5 who sometimes gets to be the mom of 8...that is when CAS doesn't show up; with another anonymous call!!!

  2. Some people call it blending families not blended families as it is a lifelong process. I like the title of your blog. It can be a book title :-)

  3. 'My advice to all on this life path is; you're separated or, on your way to divorce, or divorced...own your part of all that and move on!'

    I totally agree with this mantra, great post

  4. It can be difficult blending families, good luck!