Stepfamily Reality #38 - Stepfamily "Inferiority"

        People who feel "stepfamilies 'aren't as good as' traditional (bio)families" probably mean (a) "stepfamilies don't feel or act the same," or (b) "stepfamilies aren't as 'normal' (common) as (intact, high nurturance) bio-families." Both of the latter meanings are true. Typical stepfamilies feel "different" for up to 60 structural and dynamic reasons, and they develop differently than biofamilies. Though Census data can't confirm this, stepfamily re/marriages may break up legally or psychologically more often (60-70%) than typical U.S. biofamilies (just under 50%).

        Genetically-unrelated adults have nurtured their mate's or other clan children since prehistoric times. Because of disease, poor nutrition, un-protected intercourse, and war, stepfamilies may have been the most common type of global family until the economic, political, and health advances in recent centuries. So typical multi-home stepfamilies are nor-mal, if not the current "standard." They're estimated to be 15-20% of U.S. families now.

       It is not true that steppeople - specially kids - can't get the same nurturing, support, and appreciation that intact-biofamily members can. There are more stepfamily stressors and merger-adjustment tasks which may limit these. But if all stepfamily co-parents are aware, informed, recovering from any inner wounds, and committed to building a high-nurturance stepfamily. Because typical stepfamilies have more members and relationships, they can offer their kids and adults a richer range of resources, experiences, and viewpoints than average intact biofamilies!