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