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The Smart Stepfamily Conference

In less than two weeks we will be hosting The Smart Stepfamily Conference in Lehi, UT where stepfamily couples, single parents, and dating couples with children can come and learn how to not only survive, but thrive in your family from some of the nation’s leading experts on stepfamily dynamics.

During this two-day event, you’ll be taught and inspired during nine different sessions on topics including:

  • Prioritizing your marriage

  • Pillars of stepfamily success

  • Stepfamily finances

  • Dealing with a difficult ex

  • Overcoming attachment and loss

  • And so much more!

You’ll enjoy a panel discussion including time for Q&A and the chance to make some real connections with other stepparents and learn from their stories, struggles, and triumphs.

Blending families has some unique challenges and our goal is to offer you as many tools, insights, what-to-do and what-not-to-do tips, practical advice, inspiration, answers to your questions, heartwarming success stories, and the motivation to go back home and put into action strategies and practices that will strengthen your relationship and your family unit.

We are thrilled to have Kim Giles, master coach and writer for, Laura and Steve Petherbridge (Laura is the author of the Smart Stepmom series), and Ron Deal, family therapist and best selling author, offer their expertise and share their wisdom with all of you.

Ron Deal: Expert on Blended Families

Ron Deal is a family therapist, an international conference speaker specializing in stepfamily education and relationships, and a podcaster. His top selling books, online articles, and media appearances make him one of the most widely read and referenced authors on blended families in North America. He is the author and editor of the popular Smart Stepfamily book series. His two latest books are The Smart Stepfamily Guide to Financial Planning (with Greg Pettys & David Edwards) and the much anticipated Building Love Together in Blended Families: The 5 Love Languages and Becoming Stepfamily Smart, coauthored with New York Times bestselling author Dr. Gary Chapman, available on February 4, 2020.

Ron is founder and president of Smart Stepfamilies™ and director of FamilyLife Blended®, a division of FamilyLife®. He is a member of the Stepfamily Expert Council for the National Stepfamily Resource Center and is a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor. Ron's podcast is called FamilyLife Blended with Ron Deal.

He has appeared on numerous national TV and radio programs and his work with stepfamilies has been referenced online (e.g., ABC,, in magazines (e.g., Essence), and in newspapers throughout the world (e.g., New York Times, USA Today, New York Daily News, Chicago Tribune, Atlanta Journal, and Minnesota Star Tribune). Ron's daily one-minute radio feature FamilyLife Blended can be heard on social media and on over 900 radio outlets around the world.

Learn How to “Cook” a Stepfamily and Why This Approach Works

Ron will be presenting a session at our conference titled “How to ‘cook’ a Stepfamily”. He uses cooking as an analogy to identify some of the various integration styles families attempt to implement when coming together. Both parents bring certain expectations for how their stepfamily will look, behave, blend, bond, love, resolve issues, and the list goes on and on. Ron explains what it means to “cook” your stepfamily slowly rather than to expect instant bonds and why that approach is more effective. The keys to this process is time (patience) and low heat (you can’t force things to happen, you have to allow them to develop on their own).

According to Ron, “Stepfamilies need time to adjust to new living conditions, new parenting styles, rules, and responsibilities. They need time to experience one another and develop trust, commitment, and a shared history. They need time to find a sense of belonging and an identity as a family unit. None of these things can be rushed.”

Blending families can be a frustrating and disappointing process. Unrealistic expectations on how quickly or easily the two families should form a new unit can often lead to feelings of failure. Ron will provide you with the tools to reduce worry, anxiety, and disappointment in facing the challenges that will surely arise, and offer ways to relax into the moment and feel gratitude for the small steps, and more fully enjoy the journey.

"Ron Deal has, by far, the best material available on stepfamilies. The insights and suggestions he shares work."--H. Norman Wright, licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, founder of Christian Marriage Enrichment, author.

We have personally found Ron’s books and counsel to be extremely helpful in our journey of blending our families and we know that he will offer you insights and inspiration that will help you on yours. His session is just one of many valuable sessions that we hand-picked and planned for the conference and with the help of our gracious guest speakers we offer them to you. We promise you that this event will challenge, inspire, and encourage you to live with more love, patience, and understanding.

Don’t Miss Out...Sign up Today!

Come “Laugh & Learn” with us and return to your homes with a determination to overcome the challenges you are currently facing and emerge from those challenges stronger and happier than you thought possible. Come share your stories! Come connect with other stepfamilies and learn from one another. Make it your goal to not just survive in 2020, but to thrive.

Click to Register Seats are filling up fast!

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