Active Parenting for Stepfamilies™

Active Parenting for Stepfamilies is a video-based discussion program to help parents and stepparents raise children in the challenging stepfamily environment. The program also teaches how to use powerful communication and negotiation skills to strengthen marriage and family.

Designed for both parents and stepparents, this program is also helpful for foster parents, adoptive parents, single parents and others affected by loss and change. It combines the knowledge of Active Parenting author Michael Popkin and stepfamily expert Elizabeth Einstein.

See currently scheduled classes and register.

Session I: Stepfamily Living – A Different Parenting Challenge

  • Emotional baggage
  • Coping with loss
  • Realistic expectations
  • Styles of parenting
  • Relationship-building skills

Session II: Communication and Problem-Solving 

  • Roles of stepparents
  • Effective communication
  • A model for handling problems

Session III: Loyalties and Values 

  • Merging different values and cultures
  • Establishing limits (of space, time, authority, money)
  • Understanding triangles/loyalty conflict

Session IV: The Challenge of Discipline

  • Effective, nonviolent discipline
  • Logical consequences
  • Stepfamily considerations
  • Kids who live in two households

Session V: From Power Struggles and Anger to Courage and Self-Esteem 

  • The “FLAC” method of defusing power struggles
  • Building courage and self-esteem
  • Understanding children’s anger
  • Nurturing by encouragement

Session VI: Celebrating Stepfamily Successes 

  • Making a conscious commitment
  • Celebrating your achievements
  • Maintaining stepfamily success
  • Protecting children from risks