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Smart Steps Program

Research- Based Education Just for StepParents

Because parenting programs are oriented toward nuclear families, the guidance they offer can be like throwing water on a grease fire when applied to step-families. Stepfamilies are not nuclear families; they have at least 25 unique dynamics requiring a very different set of skills. StepParenting education is designed to benefit adults and children in the stepfamily. The Smart Steps program is based in research and clinical experience, so it incorporates what has been shown to make a difference. Increased empathy, engagement in family time, improved relationship skills, peer support, and other benefits are associated with step-parenting education. 

What is the Smart Steps program?

You can enroll with or without your partner or children. Children and adults can also attend parallel sessions, coming together at the end for a shared activity. The 6-session program uses informational presentations, group discussion, and a multi-media approach to teach strategies for building healthy relationships and stable stepfamilies. Smart Steps was created by Dr. Francesca Adler-Baeder to build couple and stepfamily strengths.

Smart Steps for Stepfamilies Addresses These Topics:

  • Stepfamily myths
  • Realistic expectations for adults and children
  • Stages of stepfamily development
  • Legal issues
  • Finances
  • Defining roles and rules
  • Developing empathy
  • Understanding child development
  • Stepparent-stepchild relationships
  • Communication with your child’s other parent
  • Building respectful and caring relationships