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Evil Stepmom


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


Harlem Valley News: Besting Stress

Family systems specialist Kimberly McKenna shares some fundamentals for coping with stress at work, at home, and in the community. In this article she discusses the value one calm, neutral person can bring to a group or situation. When we're tired, angry, or emotionally overwhelmed, we don't have access to our best thinking--or as she says, "Emotion trumps IQ."

Fortunately, there are ways we can work on our composure and become a calming presence with the people we care about most.

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Seattle Post Intelligencer: Working Dad--Surviving Those Holiday Events
Read more at the Seattle PI website:

Seattle PI
Fontana on Finance: Managing You Money by Managing your Emotions at the Holidays
Fontana on Finance: A television talk show dedicated to making and managing money. Danny Fontana and his guests discuss anything and everything to do with the financial world.

In this interview family systems specialist, Kimberly McKenna, discussed family and stepfamily finances and how emotions can drive spending at the holidays.

Kimberly’s key message on the program was that parents don’t have to spend less at the holidays, but they do have to think more about what and how they’re spending. She encouraged viewers to get clear about their own financial principles and priorities first, then to talk with their mate and understand each others’ thinking about money, gift giving, and what the holidays mean to them individually. Finally, she urged viewers to consider the ages and situations of the kids they’re spending on—what’s appropriate this year with this kid may not be appropriate another year or with another child.

Other points for parents to consider:

• Watch out for guilt giving. Some parents overspend on their children out of a sense that the child has been wronged or harmed, and that the parent is somehow to blame. Particularly in cases where a parent has died or there has been a parental divorce, guilt can motivate a parent in the wrong direction when it comes to gifts, loans, allowances, and other money-related exchanges with their children—even adult children.

• Get it together. Some parents overspend because they don’t see eye-to-eye with their spouse about family financial matters. This never serves the child or the family well. Parents need to find some financial common ground before they head to the mall.

• Have a plan, and stick to it. Some parents overspend because they fail to plan. Whether it’s Christmas shopping or college planning, parents who plan ahead—and plan together—almost always make better spending decisions.

On ilife-tv, December, 2007.

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