When Judy Graybill’s relationship ended ten years ago, she joined the 70% of stepfamilies who break up. Despite their love for each other, Judy and her ex couldn’t find a way to resolve their issues and make it work.
She was heartbroken, angry and resentful and wanted to get to a place of healing and happiness. Judy discovered the Stepfamily Foundation, where she learned that her experiences were very common. She was able to identify the cause of her breakup and heal by learning more about stepfamily dynamics.
Becoming a certified Stepfamily Coach through the Stepfamily Foundation was a no-brainer for Judy - she wanted to help other families who were struggling with the same issues. Having a background in psychology and sociology helped her transition successfully into stepfamily coaching.
As a speaker, educator, and writer, Judy Graybill “helps stressed out stepparents and their spouses argue less and relax more”.
Contrary to what many people believe, having love for each other is not enough to make a stepfamily work. In fact, it’s the exact opposite and Judy explains why that is.
Biggest Challenge for Blended Families: Difference in Parenting Styles
Judy explained how different parenting styles can add stress to blended families. When both adults have their own way of raising their children, this can lead to arguments and tension unless they know how to communicate and work through their differences.
Another level to this challenge is co-parenting with the ex. Instead of having 2 adults raising children, blended families may have 3 or 4 adults who are involved. It can be very challenging to raise children in an environment where all the adults have different parenting styles and can’t agree.
Risks Associated with Unhealthy Blended Family Environments
Children who grow up in families with tension, constant arguing and unresolved issues often don’t learn how to have healthy relationships as adults. They are at greater risk of having multiple relationships and potentially divorce, according to Judy.
They tend to have low self-esteem and lower grades than children in stable families. In extreme cases, children drop out of high school or run away from home to try to escape their unhealthy environment.
3 Starter Questions to Create Positive Change your Family
Judy recommends that couples ask themselves these questions. She cautions that if you identify everyone else except yourself for question #1, then you may not be ready for change.
When working with her clients, Judy uses these questions as a baseline to identify the root of their issues. She co-creates a plan that helps couples resolve their issues. During their time together, Judy frequently checks in to see how they’re progressing and determine if any adjustments to the plan are needed.
Judy discussed ‘conscious uncoupling’ as a goal for blended families.
The term ‘conscious uncoupling’ applies to separated or divorced couples. It is the idea of being conscious of how your actions affect other people. When you are conscious of this, you are able to set your feelings aside and deal with them in private so you protect your children, your ex and others from certain behaviors directly related to your feelings.
This can be difficult for couples who end explosively, but it’s something that both parties can work toward. For couples who separate on a more amicable level, such as growing apart or falling out of love over the years, achieving conscious uncoupling is often an easier process.
Conscious uncoupling is beneficial to everyone involved. If you’re struggling with your feelings and finding it hard to cope, you should seek professional help.
Judy’s Tips for Starting A Passion-Based Business that Helps Others:
Judy’s Suggested Resource:
Hay House Radio, that offers 24/7 all-talk radio on mind, body, and health topics. You can listen live or purchase a membership and listen to pre-recorded shows.
She is offering co-parenting workshops in the Phoenix, AZ area. Judy teaches parents how to transform strained relationships into working co-parenting relationships. If you’re in that area, contact Judy for more information.
She’s creating information products to help families heal strained relationships and help stepfamilies become resilient to the challenges that usually break them apart. Judy has created a Blueprint for Change and is working on a 6-week course.
Where You Can Find Judy Online
Facebook: Judy Graybill and Stepfamily Coach
Judy’s Parting Words of Wisdom:
“Be willing to challenge your own beliefs. It’s one of the hardest things to do, but it can be one of the most liberating.” ~Judy Graybill
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