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Evil Stepmom


Please contact Evil Stepmom at with your questions or ideas about stepfamily living with 17-30 year olds.


Seattle Times: Building a new marriage - and a bridge to your young-adult stepchildren

In the Seattle Times, family systems specialist Kimberly McKenna discussed the challenges of building a new marriage while helping to launch young adult stepchildren into the world in her article, "Building a new marriage, and a bridge to your young adult stepchildren." 

Seattle Times

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Happy Magazine

Denver Daily News: Evil Stepmom Coaches Families Through Stepshock

(This article appeared in 14 newspapers accross the country.)

When parents of young adults remarry, new stepparents are often surprised by how much parenting 17 to 30 year olds still need. Family systems specialist Kimberly McKenna calls this "stepshock," and discusses its impact on stepparents of young adults. Though there's no rest for these newlyweds, there is help.

Key Themes from the Interview:

The kids, even adult kids, will always come first--you have to accept this fact if you're marrying a parent. And you have to accept it on faith if you don't have children of your own.

Stepparents of young adults need to get clear about their own principles and responsibilities first. You're entering a system where everyone has been doing what they're doing for a very long time. Though you might want to, you're not going to change anyone, and you're sure not going to fix anyone. So focus on what you can do to keep your composure and be a positive presence in your stepfamily.

Your top job is to build a great marriage. The relationship with the kids will unfold over decades. The happier your mate is, the more your stepkids will like you as time goes on.

Work on getting to know each of your stepchildren one-to-one. Young adulthood is a time of defining one's self and pushing off from the family. It's a wonderful time to get to know young people. So take the time to find out who they are, and to let them learn who you are.

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