Take your time here, and view this
quiz as a high-return, long-term investment.
As you answer these items,
reflect on how other family adults and supporters would respond to _ each
item and _ taking this quiz.
Check an item only if you can
confidently check each sub-item. To avoid distraction,
Don't follow any links until
you've finished the quiz. Then go back and research each
un-checked item. Take your time - this is like a college course!
try answering these
items out loud to someone you trust, or to an imaginary group of high-school
seniors. Otherwise, write out your answers on a separate piece of paper.
Consciously avoid vague generalities
("stepfamilies are just more stressful...") and be as specific as you can
["...because they (name explicit reasons)."]
identify _ a typical intact biofamily
and _ an existing stepfamily you know, and think of them with each
your reactions to taking this quiz as you go, or soon after
finishing. Your reactions to these questions are as important as the
If you follow a link, read what's there
and then return here to finish the quiz.
Take heart -
you don't need to
be a Ph.D. to learn the answers here!
Assess Your Stepfamily Knowledge
__ 1) Answer all the items in
this quiz about personalities and
psychological wounds (Lesson 1)
__ 2) Answer all the items in
this quiz about bonding, losses, and
grieving (Lesson 3)
__ 3) Answer all the items in
this quiz about healthy relationships
Answer all the items in this
quiz about families (Lesson 5)
__ 5) Answer all the items in
this quiz about effective parenting
__ 6) Describe...
_ the terms
_ what a "
_ what a
_ what a "blended
_ what a
_ who comprises a "nuclear
stepfamily" and an "extended
_ the term
_ the moment in time when a
typical stepfamily "begins."
why typical U.S. stepfamilies
significant stresses, are significantly low-nurturance systems, and often
re/divorce psychologically or legally.
__ 8) Describe...
_ the key phases of a
typical stepfamily's developmental cycle,
three possible outcomes of the cycle,
_ which outcome is most common in America recently,
__ 9) Define...
_ family role
conflicts and _
role strain, and
least 10 of the ~15
new stepfamily members must negotiate and agree on.
__ 10) Describe _ a (step)family
_ why stepfamily co-parents making and using one is usually more
important than in intact biofamilies.
_ at least 20 of the ~60 common
that lay people and many professionals
believe about stepfamilies, and
_ what their corresponding
realities usually are.
__ 12) Describe why adults ignoring or minimizing their
promote escalating stress in and between their co-parenting homes.
__ 13) Name at least three
signs that an adult or child has really
accepted their stepfamily identity.
__ 14) Describe _ what
" means, and _ the specific risks of excluding a stepchild's "other (bio)parent" from
__ 15) Explain why _ it's
members will ever meet people in a similarly-structured stepfamily, and
this usually means to them.
__ 16) Name at least six ways that typical
__ 17) Name at least 15 of the ~35 ways
average stepfamilies differ structurally
from intact biofamilies;
__ 18) Identify at least 10
of the 16 categories of things average stepfamily adults and kids must begin
two co-parents commit to each other and/or cohabit during serious courtship.
Name at least 15 of the ~30
adjustment tasks that typical new-stepfamily adults must
complete, starting in serious courtship.
Name three primary sources of most stepfamily
Describe at least three
benefits of belonging to a
stepfamily compared to an intact or divorcing biofamily..
__ 22) Describe _ three phases of
_ why it can take up to 15 or more years for some adults and kids to
fully adjust to personal and family reorganization from divorce.
Name at least 10 common
losses that adults and
kid must grieve from _ biofamily divorce and _ from a bioparent's
choosing a new partner and cohabiting with them.
__ 24) Name at least six ways
differs from traditional dating between two never-married partners.
Name at least eight traits
of the right partner to re/commit to. The
"/" notes that it may be a
stepparent's first union.
Name at least five of the
right reasons to re/commit and form or
join a stepfamily.
Name at least eight indicators
it's the right time to re/commit and form or
join a stepfamily.
Name at least six
Pause, breathe, and reflect
- what are you thinking and feeling, so far? Do you need a break
before finishing the the quiz?
Name the three or four sets of
adjustment needs that typical minor and
grown stepkids must fill over time with
_ describe at least 20 of the~ 40 common
environmental differences between
"stepparenting" and "traditional bioparenting."
__ 31) Describe _ a co-parent
and _ why co-parents
negotiating and using them is
more important in
typical stepfamilies than in intact biofamilies.
__ 32) Describe specific
_ why each of these stress typical
family and stepfamily adults and kids,
and _ how
co-parents can resolve each of them effectively.
__ 33) Explain the paradox that
bioparents wanting to rank their dependent kids' needs
in typical stepfamily conflicts
really puts them first, over time.
_ at least five of the
to co-parenting cooperation between ex mates, stepparents, and key
relatives; and _ what these adults must do to reduce these barriers
for their kids' sakes.
__ 35) Describe at least four of
for an effective
parenting agreement between divorcing bioparents.
__ 36) Describe _ what a "successful child
visitation" is, and _ at least
reasons why they are hard to achieve in
__ 37) Define _effective
child discipline, and _ at least 10
intact-biofamily discipline and child discipline in typical stepfamilies.
__ 38) Describe why
resorting to legal force to "win"
disputes over child support, visitation, or custody is always a lose-lose-lose choice long term.
__ 39) Describe _ at least three
things that stress typical
co-grandparents in a stepfamily, and _ key options for reducing each of them.
__ 40) _ Define "effective stepfamily
support," and _ explain
why most stepfamily adults
seek or use it appropriately.
Describe how to choose an effective stepfamily
counselor or therapist.
42) Describe key criteria for
evaluating written and verbal stepfamily advice.
Describe how to judge whether
books or Web sites are useful or not.
informed or qualified stepfamily supporters
know most of these items. If you have used, or are
help for your stepfamily (counselors, therapists, attorneys, mediators, clergy, and/or
coaches), how would they do on this quiz? How
would each of your relatives do? Your stepkids' other
Now compare how you feel about your stepfamily-knowledge level
to what you thought before taking this quiz...
Do you better understand my proposal that most (step)family
supporters "don't know what they don't know"? Their unawareness
+ and psychological
and potential (re)divorce.
If you patiently study Lessons
1 thru 7 here, you should be able to answer these quiz items.
really read to grow and enjoy high-nurturance stepfamily
relationships - IF your true co-parents' true Selves are free to
each! You're also ready to protect your
descendents from inheriting the lethal [wounds+ unawareness]
Feedback please - anonymous 1-question
Consider options like these:
If you skipped some links, go back
and follow any of interest when you're undistracted.
If you want to ask other people to take and discuss this
quiz, (a) who are they, and (b)
why do you want
them to do this?
On a scale of 1 (little motivation)
to 10 (highly motivated), how motivated are you now to spend significant
time studying the answers to these quiz items? ___ Doing this with one or
more people (like your mate) can be more interesting, and probably more productive!
you're (ever) in a co-parent support group,
consider using these
as a framework for weekly
discussion topics and "homework." See
this for more options.
If you haven't yet, scan these
Co-parents Should Ask. They summarize and link to specific answers to most of the
items in these quizzes.
Study these useful
terms and phrases about families and
relationships, teach them to others, and use them to improve your
thinking and communication
above as a
framework for educating your
children and relatives about your stepfamily. They don't know what they need to
know, and probably have confusions and misconceptions they can't articulate.
Give a copy of this quiz
to your kids' teacher/s and school counselors and
coaches. They probably have many stepkids in their classrooms and
offices, and maybe in their homes.
If you're a human-service
professional, see ths article. If you're a media professional,
you'll probably minimize or ignore your quiz results and
these options, or
acting on them
this as "OK."
The purpose of this quiz is to alert stepfamily
members and supporters to the vital need for edu-cation. Inability to
answer these items is part of the lethal [wounds + unawareness]
pro-motes family dysfunction and our unremarked U.S. divorce epidemic
Lesson 7 here provides accur-ate information to help answer these quiz
items, based on my
33 years' clinical research