Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor


Article excerpt

Help remarried families avoid 'Brady Bunch' myth

Concerning the wonderful 4/14 article, "Stepparenting teens," I want to encourage your paper to drop "blended families" from your editorial lexicon. Those of us who work in the field have labored for decades to encourage the use of "stepfamily" and "remarried family."

The problem with "blended family" is that it furthers the "Brady Bunch" myth that stepfamilies can become just like first-time families if they just do it "right." The opposite is true. In fact, I am fond of saying that when stepfamilies "blend" too quickly, somebody always gets creamed.

In all stepfamilies, biological parent-child bonds predate both the adult couple and stepparent-child bonds. As the article points out, children do not accept stepparents right away (and, in some cases, not ever) in a parenting role. As a psychologist working with remarried families, I can tell you that troubled stepfamilies are almost always struggling with trying to live this myth of "blending," in the face of the realities. Families that do not expect to blend take their time establishing relationships. Those families are much more successful than families that expect to "blend" right away. Patricia L. Papernow, EdD Hudson, Mass.The writer is author of "Becoming a Stepfamily, Stages of Development in Remarried Families."

US aid to Egypt has tangible results

The assertion that US development aid is given to the Egyptian government "to do with as it pleases," advanced in the April 12 story, "$50 billion later, taking stock of US aid to Egypt," is just plain wrong. The US and Egypt decide the uses of resources. There are regular and comprehensive audits.

Also false was the claim that US aid is enabling Egypt to avoid reform. In fact, reforms are manifest everywhere. Egypt has adopted legislation protecting intellectual property, a prerequisite for boosting foreign direct investment. Significant reforms in customs administration are under way. Both of these reforms were conditions for US assistance.

Last January, Egypt abandoned its longstanding, economically crippling link of the pound to the dollar. …

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