Sunday, January 20, 2008

How do you do time?

How you do time may have a connection to how you do stepfamily life.

Here is what I mean: Some people have beliefs about time such that enormous amounts of things can be accomplished in small amounts of time. If you can write it in your daytimer or PDA, then it can be done.

Write a novel between 8 and 10 PM fits in the slot, but there is no chance that such a thing could happen.

Other people rarely know what time it is. The dont' wear a watch, the do not carry a cell phone or any time-keeping device. They approximate time and depend on others to do their time keeping. Some of these people have really good internal clocks while others are always way late or way early. Time never really seems to apply to them.

Certainly there are extremes to the various ways people do time with lots of people landing somewhere in between the extremes. But whatever the case, you have a time style.

Knowing what your time style is importnat because it probably has some parallels with how you do stepfamily life. It is important to know how you do time. But it is also important to know how each family member does time.

Knowing that your way is not the right way, but that it is your way is importnat because you want other members of your family to respect your time style. Respect theirs as you would want them to respect your.

Saturday, January 12, 2008


Stepfathers must resist a certain temptation that is almost certain to come their way - stepfather must not be the HERO.

When the confluence of a struggling bio mother, her angry or hurting or grieving child, a newly formed romantic relationship, and the seemingly inherent male desire to fix problems come together you have yourself the potential for a serious temptation.

It is tempting for the stepfather to come in, take charge, and make everything right. He'll soothe his new wife's pain and sadness and feelings of failure, he'll straighten out the child, and he'll bering order to the lingering choas.

The problem is that he not only won't end up doing that, he is not even capable of doing it. A couple of things are going to happen if stepdad tries to be the hero. First, he will set himself up for disappointment. He will taste failure as it is forcefed to him. The other thing that will happen is that he will create more distance between himself and the stepchild. In his effort to make everything all better his will require more loyalty adn compliance from the family than he is entitled to.

Stepdads, rather than clearing house and taking charge of the family, enter the challenging situation as an opportunity to be a helpful consultant (not the CEO). Resist the temptation to seize control ofn the family. Rather, offer some of your skill and power to the family.

Over time, you will not be tempted to ceize control of challenging situations because you will be invited to share yourself with the family. The less you force it the more likely you will be invtied into it.

Stepfathers should work hard to be an aroma that smells so good that the rest of the family cannot resist. Let your goodness shine adn force nothing.