Loading Events

News & Information from AFCC

November 1-3 and 6-7, 2023 - SEE DETAILS

The Fundamentals of Parenting Coordination (Virtual)
December 4-7, 2023 - See Details



AFCC Webinar – What Works (and What Doesn’t) for Kids and Adults in “Blended Families”

Patricia Papernow, EdD

October 18, 2023

1:00pm-2:00pm Eastern Time (US & Canada)

Registration closes October 17, 2023, at 9am Eastern Time US

What Works (and What Doesn’t) for Kids and Adults in “Blended Families”

What’s important for folks involved with families in the courts, and with family conflict, is that after divorce, at least one partner usually recouples. Whether the new couple marries or not (and increasingly they do not), this means that after divorce comes stepfamilies. The new adult couple is usually looking for a happy new “blended family.” However, it turns out that a stepfamily is a fundamentally different family form that makes some big challenges for all involved. Many of these challenges contribute to resist/refuse dynamics: Kids are often struggling with losses and loyalty binds. Often the pace of change is way too fast for kids. For these and other reasons, kids often don’t feel very welcoming of a new stepparent. Parents and stepparents polarize around discipline. Stepparents are often pulled prematurely into discipline (a major player in resist/refuse cases). Add that, so very often, when one partner recouples, the tension between ex-spouses goes up, exposing kids to adult conflict.

The bad news is that trying to navigate stepfamily challenges with a first-partner family map makes pain and blame and unhappiness for everyone. The good news is that there are things that work to meet these (big!) challenges. But what works is often quite different from what works in a first-partner family.  Join us to learn evidence-based strategies to meet the unique needs of “blended families.”

Dr. Patricia Papernow has taught about “blended families” and post-divorce parenting all over the U.S. and the world, sharing what 5 decades of research and clinical work tells us about best practices for meeting the often-intense challenges for kids and adults. She has authored dozens of articles and book chapters about stepfamilies as well as some of the leading books in the field, including Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships: What Works and What Doesn’t, and, with Karen Bonnell, The Stepfamily Handbook: From Dating to Getting Serious to Forming a “Blended Family.” Patricia is a psychologist in Hudson, MA. She sits on the Experts Council of the National Stepfamily Resource Center and is a member of the NSRC advanced training faculty. She is the recipient of the award for Distinguished Contribution to Family Psychology from the Society for Couple and Family Therapy (American Psychological Association) and the Award for Distinguished Contribution to Couple and Family Therapy from the American Family Therapy Academy.


October 18
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm
Event Category:


ONLINE Session
United States