Fredericksburg Parent

November 2012

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BY KERRY L. PINTO 5 together. is also The Brady Bunch. Step by Step. Modern Family. identify a TV-created stepfamily from some generation and see similarities. Exaggerated Many of us issues. Everybody getting along. In reality, stepfamilies face many challenges not expressed on the small screen. However, despite the obstacles and differences that each stepfam- ily has, there is one thing that every stepfamily has in common: a starting point. Identifying ways to smooth that transition can benefit all family mem- bers when creating a new family unit. Meet the Gregoire family of Stafford. Jason, a member of the United States Marine Corps, and his wife Leslie were married in December 2011. Leslie has a 4-year-old daughter, Nadina, from a previous ily happiness. Short-lived with Fredericksburg Parent and Family on transitioning into a cohesive step- family. marriage. Leslie shares some advice expecting This military fam- their first child can child time to warm-up to the person." Leslie suggests explaining the role of the new stepparent to the child and talking through the changes that might come as a result. Leslie also suggests giving children, particularly those younger 1. Allow your child to warm-up to your new spouse. "A lot of times, a child can have anger towards that new person for trying to step in [to that parental role]. Give the in age, a choice in what they want to call the new stepparent, whether it is their actual name or something with a more authoritative moniker such, "Papa" or "Mama." actually responds more to Jason than she does with me, "Leslie says, laughing. "If she does something wrong, she will be sent to her room. After five minutes, Jason will go up and explain to her what she did wrong and then tells her that he loves her. She always knows that even though she did something wrong she is still loved." make. If I happen to not like a certain decision he makes, I can always talk to him and I know that he will hear me out and we will come to a mutual understanding. I just hope that if you are going to go and marry someone (and particularly someone 2. 3. Strive for good communication with your spouse. Leslie stresses being able to talk things though with your partner. "We are extremely unified in all decisions we Share child-rearing new spouse. One area that both Leslie and Jason both share the responsibility with is discipline. "Nadina responsibilities with your steps stepFamilies 14 Fredericksburg Parent and Family • November 2012 for

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