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Young Adults and Addiction: The Benefits of Inpatient Care

For many young people, drug use and experimentation is a rite of passage of sorts. However, experimenting with drugs and alcohol is far from harmless, and can often result in lifelong...

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Jeannette Lofas

Jeannette Lofas

Founder of the Stepfamily Foundation

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Sally Bjornsen

Sally Bjornsen

Creator of the Sassy Stepmother web site and author of The...

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Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Dr. Carl Pickhardt

Psychologist and author of Keys to Successful Stepfathering

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The latest news on this change — carefully culled from the world wide web by our change agents. They do the surfing, so you don't have to!

Blend, Bond, Repeat

T.S. Eliot wrote, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” Was he talking about his love for caffeine? No; he was talking about the importance of rituals.
Rituals are established patterns that help us to define our lives. They include everything from that steaming cup of coffee we have every morning while reading the paper, to blowing out birthday candles, to George Bailey always pulling loose that knob at the top of the stairs. These small patterns, these rituals, add up to make the big picture of our lives.
Now that your picture is even bigger, it’s time you create some rituals especially for your new blended family!
Rituals help stepfamilies to create a collective identity and to attain a feeling of togetherness, according to Ron Huxley. Rituals can help everyone adjust to the new family by creating new memories.
Huxley stresses that the new traditions not be forced – that children should be asked for their input on what they would like to do regularly as a family. Also, the new family rituals don’t have to be large-scale, like boating trips; they can be as simple as eating together at the table, or playing a game that all of you enjoy (just make sure the competition is healthy, so no one ends up with a broken nose a la Marcia Brady.)
What kind of rituals have you created to bring togetherness to your new family?

Posted: 5/20/08