11:45am - 01:00pm Life in the Blender: Blended Families Explored

Dan Cano

Daniel Cano-Saenz

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Families come in all shapes and sizes. For a widowed person who has re-partnered, the blending of families is often a part of their new family landscape.

While some families come to the grieving process after the loss of a primary parent, others may experience the loss of a step-parent. Each unique grief experience alters the dynamics of the family, and can be complicated by so many factors including where each family member is in their own emotional or developmental life-stage.

If you are currently blending a family or just want to learn more about this complicated, but very often enriching process, please join Dan Cano to explore how to understand and respond to the blending process, how to respect and nurture each family members’ place within the family, and how to have a healthy perspective as to what we consider a successfully blended family. Dan has experienced the blending of a family twice, and will be offering both his expertise as a Family Court Counselor, as well as his personal widowed experience to explore these relevant topics:

  • How do various family members react and adjust to a new step parent?
  • Developmental responses of children, and adult children, dealing with loss and attachment.
  • How dare you be happy with someone else?
  • “Will you die too?” Realistic fears that challenge a willingness to embrace the new mix.
  • The new ingredient to the mix:  step-parent’s anxiety of fitting in, understanding each family member’s perspective, and standing alongside a near perfect ghost.
  • Special needs children, how they grieve, process change and challenge the step parent bonding process.
  • What is the goal for blended families and how do we know when we’ve reached it?