Not What I Call “Close”

Most stepparents want a close relationship with their stepkids, but many don’t know how to get there, or if it’s even possible. So it’s not surprising that KJ Dell’ Antonia’s recent post “What Makes a Successful Stepfather?” was shared widely in the stepparent community.

Based on a study in the journal Social Work, Dell’ Antonia set out to tell us “what stepchildren think makes for a good relationship with their stepfather” and how mothers and stepfathers can “make that happen.”

At first I was delighted to see new stepfamily research in the mainstream media. A lot of current recommendations come from outdated findings, though it’s doubtful if they still apply. A new study from the kids’ point of view could give us the information we need to help today’s stepfamilies to form real and lasting bonds.

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