stepfamily dynamics


Wicked “Good” Stepmom

Children’s characters are all cute and sweet. You want to cuddle with Zimba, eat honey with Winnie the Pooh, or even jump in the arms of Bagera. But when animated stepmoms were created we get a whole new genre of character. Was it really the fault of the Queens’? If […]

Wicked Good Stepmom

Woman Contemplating

Hey Stepmom! Stop Taking it Personally

In my role as a stepfamily coach and the administrator of several stepmom support groups, I made a recent and painful self-discovery. I am guilty of a serious stepmom advice sin: telling a stepmom: “ Don’t take it personally” and I’ve said it many times to many women over my stepmom coaching […]


An Interview with Paulina Lagudi, Director of “Mail Order Monster”

Paulina Lagudi has written, produced and directed her first feature film aimed at highlighting the challenging yet, positive aspects of stepfamily life. Starring Charisma Carpenter of “Angel” and “Buffy”, and “The Expendables” and Josh Hopkins of “Cougar Town”, “Quantico”, and “Bones”, “Mail Order Monster” is predominantly told from the perspective […]

Mail Order Monster

Happy Family

The Stages of Stepfamily Development

A marriage that brings with it children from a previous marriage presents many challenges.  According to Dr. Patricia L. Papernow, these challenges go through a Seven Stage Model of Stepfamily Development.    My husband and I are eight years into our stepfamily, and I can honestly say that we have just […]


What’s in a Name? Taking the Step Out of Families

  When my brother came to visit it was always one of the happiest times of my childhood. I knew that week would involve the beach, sun, and music as if, I too, was on vacation. I adored my brother and still do. The fact that he is my half-brother […]

Silhouette of Family

Name Plaque

The Question of Last Names for Step & Blended Families

As a child, I was one of those unfortunate children with a unique enough name that I was never able to find cups, keychains, jewelry, and other items with my name on them. Although I do not currently long for a pencil case or novelty license plate imprinted with “Audrey,” […]