Someone Who Loves You

Children in eleven U.S. cities are giving moving tributes to their fathers as they read their prize-winning essays during Father of the Year celebration events. Each essay has a story behind it, and Haley Hubbard, a 12th grader from Tulsa, brought the entire audience...

How to Cook a Stepfamily

Whether you realize it or not, your stepfamily has likely assumed a specific integration style. By that, I mean a set of assumptions about how your stepfamily ‘ought’ to come together. I like to use cooking as an analogy to identify some integration styles...

Stepdads: Don’t Compete With the Child’s Father

Orville is about to become a stepfather, and he wrote to me with a question: the 8-year-old son of his fiancée minds his father very well, but wreaks havoc at home. “What should I do?” Orville writes. These situations are always more complicated than I can...

I'm Sorry

Ali McGraw told Ryan O'Neal, “Love means never having to say you're sorry.” Well, here's one dad's love story which did involve saying “I'm sorry.” When Dietrich Gruen first became a stepdad, he struggled to find common...

Assemble the Parts

If a machine breaks down, a repairman looks at all the parts and pinpoints the problem. Let's see if that works with kids. John is a stepfather whose 12-year-old stepson Brian had hit a rough spot in life. His grades were sagging, and he had behavioral problems in...