One Way to Validate Children in Stepfamilies

This post is fifteenth in a series of videos available in our new BYU Social Sciences YouTube channel! The channel contains tidbits of many of our most popular lectures and useful, succinct, research-backed advice on relationship, political, religious, media, and financial issues. Follow us there to stay up-to-date on wisdom that will help you and your family live better lives.

It can be difficult to adjust to living with a step-parent, especially for children and teens. According to stepfamily expert Dr. Patricia Papernow, the best thing a parent can do to ease that adjustment is to listen to what their children are saying. In order for the blended family to be successful, the youth need to feel validated. Papernow said, in a 2017 BYU Social Work Conference, “[It] turns out people have really big hearts.” If parents listen to and acknowledge their children’s possibly negative feelings, the transition to a blended family will be smoother. This two-minute video highlights how:

BYU’s Social Work Conference is held annually for clinicians and members of the public. Papernow is a psychologist in private practice in Hudson, Ma, and Director of the Institute for Stepfamily Education. The Marjorie Pay Hinckley Chair, which sponsors the conference, was created to strengthen, understand, and research families as well as create strategies to bolster families through challenges such as learning disabilities, social development, and single parenting.

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