||June 27, 2007
Barnes & Noble.com
Advice From The Blender
Help for stepfamilies with a Christian twist.
Welcome to the Blender!
The statistics aren’t pretty. Almost 70% of remarriages with children end in divorce, most remarriages do not last 5 years, and it can take up to ten years for a stepfamily to blend! There has to be something else; something between The Brady Bunch and these dire predictions.
There is. In Advice From The Blender, author Susan Hetrick gives you eight ingredients for blending your family. She will show you how your family can succeed, and how to:
· Overcome “we’ll live happily ever after” syndrome
· Choose to love children who wish you were dead
· Bond as a family without resorting to duct tape
· And much more!
With discussion questions for the entire family and a House Blend Recipe, Susan Hetrick whips up an honest, inspiring and funny serving of the “house blend” with a Christian twist.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: And we’ll live happily ever after… – Stepfamily expectations and roles
Chapter 2: We both have baggage…but it’s cute and it matches – Dealing with the past, and making your marriage your #1 priority
Chapter 3: The Package Deal – Bonding as a family without resorting to Superglue or duct tape
Chapter 4: The Infiltrator…and other names for stepparents – Helping the kids adjust
Chapter 5: Choosing your battles – Blending parenting skills
Chapter 6: In-laws, Outlaws and Theories of Relativity – The “ex-tended” family experience
Chapter 7: Holidays and other worst-case scenarios – What blending really means
Chapter 8: The House Blend – Your family blending recipe
Humorous, Candid, Inspiring
Susan J. Hetrick offers practical guidance, hope, and a renewed sense of purpose for blended families in her book “Advice from the Blender.” This is a book about and for stepfamilies.
Susan and her new husband David started their marriage with two ready made families which included two boys, two girls, two dogs, one cat, and a hamster. Insights are drawn from their experience and from a compilation of similar stories of other couples entering into blended family situations.
A common thread is evident in all of the stories which Susan has labeled eight key ingredients for blending a family. These keys focus on expectations and roles of the family members, baggage brought into the new relationships, dealing with the past, and bonding together as a new family.
Parenting skills and helping kids adjust are among top priority considerations. Experiences with extended families can include culture shock. Holiday celebrations can become calamities of the magnitude of a hurricane, tsunami, or a midwinter cold front.
The final chapter incorporates all of the eight ingredients into a recipe unique for your personal blended family with tips and pointers on making things fun as you work out your strategy, develop contingency plans, and enjoying the process. A comprehensive resource list and a compilation of Bible verses directed specifically at blended family needs are included in an important appendix.
The format of the book is user friendly with short illustrative examples of real life stories, pointed quotes, bulleted points, paragraph headings, formulas, summary statements, and questions for reflection and discussion for the entire family. The book is an excellent resource for pastors, counselors, stepparents and their children. It will be especially helpful for anyone planning to enter into a blended family relationship.
“Advice from the Blender” meets a definite need, filling the gap where there is an obvious void of helpful information. This is a unique segment of our society. Families often overlooked, misunderstood, or shunned by former friends, and family members. Hetrick writes with clarity, humor, and directness. She makes a positive, inspirational, and informative contribution in effectively meeting this need. Five Stars.
Reviewed by Richard R. Blake
A much needed resource
Blended families are becoming more and more prevalent in today's society. I just went back and looked at my records of the last 50 couples I have coached and 27, or 54% were blended families. Not only are blended families becoming more and more common, they are also far more challenging to make successful. ADVICE FROM THE BLENDER by Susan Hetrick helps make those challenges smoother.
Making a marriage a great marriage is an enormous task by itself. Throw kids in the mix and it becomes exponentially more difficult. Not only are you learning to live with someone you love, with kids you also have to learn to love someone you live with! It becomes even more difficult when these little mini-humans wish you were dead!
In truth, blended families face so many variables, it would be impossible to cover them all. Rev. Hetrick does a good job of presenting some of the more common problems blended families will face. There is a great deal of well-presented information packed into 150-pages. You may also find some other useful resources in the Appendixes dealing with blended families and their unique difficulties.
A blended marriage creates a whole new set of problems that are all too often overlooked. Anyone about to become a part of a blended family would benefit greatly from this book.
Reviewed by Pastor Monty Rainey
Susan J. Hetrick offers practical guidance in a simple and easy to read format, in her book Advice from the Blender. With stories compiled from her personal experience as well as other couples circling in the blender, the reader can relate and seek guidance from the insights and stories provided.
A friend of mine recently remarried and I provided her with a copy of this book for her and her new husband to read. The key ingredients for blending a family are important to address early in the relationship and are crucial to manage in the blended marriage. This book is a must read for all members of the blended family including the new in-laws and maybe even for ex-in-laws who might be willing to learn how their actions play a role in the recipe.
In a society where divorce is all too common, learning how to cope with the challenges of a blended family are crucial. If everyone in a blended family could take one lesson from this book it's possible that the success rate of second and third marriages would increase significantly. 5 Stars.
Reviewed by Kelly Damron
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