About Stepfamily Membership (Inclusion / Exclusion)
Psychologist Abraham Maslow proposed that for typical adults and kids the intense primal need to belong to a group of people (feel accep-ted and included) is second only to the needs for current and near-future physical and emotional comforts. Co-parents' dating seriously after di-vorce or mate-death initiates the merger of three or more multi-genera-tional biofamilies, forming a big, complex new group.
Any child and adult in a new stepfamily may be significantly conflicted over (1) "Who belongs in my family now?", (2) "Do I want to belong to (be included in) this new family?", (3) "Do the other family members really (a) accept (include) me and (b) care about my needs and feelings?"; and (4) "If I feel rejected, how can I fill my need to be-long?" These conflicts are specially stressful for psychologically-woun-ded kids and adults - i.e. typical stepfamily members.
Ideally, stepfamily adults and supporters will be aware of these con-flicts early, and want to evolve an effective strategy for identifying and resolving each of them as teammates. Doing so effectively requires them to share key attitudes, knowledge, and priorities; be guided by their true Selves, (Lesson 1), and be fluent in Lesson-2 communication skills.