Sunday, August 20, 2006


Resilience is the ability for a person or group to bounce back from adversity, setbacks, or failures. It is the quality of a person or organization to interpet positiviely facts that might at first glance appear to be hopelessly negative.

For people in stepfamilies, there are often ample opportunities to interpret negative facts positively. For example, all stepfamilies are born of some kind of loss. Death, divorce, abandonment, or for some other reason, stepfamilies are born of loss. For couples and children to grieve their loss, navigate new relationships, and "blend," it all makes for a challenging situation.

Successful stepfamilies learn to interpret the facts and make opportunities from these facts. For example, one stepfamily would fight every Christmas about how to decorate the Christmas tree. It began to make a dread fall over the family as the holiday season approached each year. Finally, one year they decided to decorate half of the tree according to one family's tradition and the other half according to the other family's tradition. That's resilience. They found a way to accept that the facts are the facts, but also to interpret those facts in a way that fits their new situation.

I would love to hear other stories of stepfamily resilience.

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