Author(s): Trevor Crow Mullineaux; Maryann Karinch
Blending Families responds to the need for a book that explores step-parenting by starting with the marriage as the central relationship in a new blended family unit. Just as you are better able to help your child in an airplane emergency if you put your oxygen mask on first, you are better able to blend two families if you take care of the marriage first. Starting with a discussion of attachment styles, the authors explore how those styles translate into the new family unit when trying to forge a new marriage while parenting tween and teen children in a family unit that is new to them as well. They provide parenting guidance premised on the fact that parenting occurs within a context, and in this case, a context that is unfamiliar territory for everyone involved. Using true stories throughout, they explore the variety of challenges that may arise, such as sibling rivalry, puberty, dating, emotional and intellectual differences, and preferential treatment, and offer suggestions for overcoming obstacles to fully blending. By focusing the light on the marriage as the most important source of stability, the authors encourage readers to develop a style of parenting that works for everyone and brings a sense of unity and strength to the household.
Considering that 50 percent of families in the U.S. are formed by a remarriage or recoupling, this optimistic and realistic book will be a good resource for many parents and stepparents. The content is geared toward those who are considering combining as well as those who are already blended and facing challenges. The book is organized into three sections. 'Opportunities and Challenges' includes a useful quiz about adult attachment styles and helps you understand your own style and that of your partner. In section 2, the authors lay out the 'Five Things You Must Have to Succeed,' and section 3 covers 'Stories and Practical Insights." In the 'Do's and Don'ts' list in section 3, the authors reach beyond their own expertise and include insights from marriage-expert John Gottman and financial-expert Suze Orman. Mullineaux's own story adds a personal touch and credibility to the mix. Despite the large number of blended families, there aren't a lot of titles on the topic. Blending Families: Merging Households with Kids 8-18 would be a useful addition for any public library. --Booklist
'Drawing on personal experience, professional consultation and research on blended families, the authors provide clear, practical advice for those of us who live in stepfamilies. The book will also be of interest to professionals who work with blended families.' -- W. Kim Hanford, PhD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Queensland, Australia
'This book combines the real-world experiences of stepfamilies and the expertise of smart, compassionate therapists. You'll find it a valuable guide not just to successful family blending, but to how to be married well under challenging circumstances. It's a wise and uplifting book'. -- William J. Doherty, Phd, professor of Family Social Science, University of Minnesota; author of Take Back Your Marriage
Trevor Crow Mullineaux, LMFT, is a licensed marriage and family therapist and the co-author with Maryann Karinch of Forging Healthy Connections. She has a Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy from Fairfield University, Connecticut, and also holds an MBA from Harvard University and a BS from Parsons The New School for Design. She practices and resides in Southport, Connecticut.
Maryann Karinch is the author of 24 books, including Forging Healthy Connections, which she co-authored with Trevor Crow. Most of books and presentations focus on human behavior. In recognition of her work as a dedicated explorer of the psyche and mind-body interaction, The Explorers Club (most known for its membership of astronauts, anthropologists and explorers of terrain) took an unusual step and elected her to membership in 2010. Her website is www.karinch.com. She lives in Estes Park, Colorado.