The Smart Stepfamily

Seven Steps to a Healthy Family

The Smart Stepfamily

Discover the Keys to a Healthy Stepfamily

Leading stepfamily expert Ron L. Deal reveals the seven fundamental steps to blended family success and provides practical, realistic solutions to the issues you face as a stepfamily. Whether married or soon-to-be-married, you’ll discover how to

  • Solve the everyday puzzles of stepparenting and stepchildren relationships
  • Communicate effectively with an ex-spouse
  • Handle stepfamily finances confidently
  • “Cook” your stepfamily slowly rather than expect an instant blend

This revised and expanded edition has updated research and two new chapters with even more real-world advice on topics such as stepsibling relationships and later-life stepfamilies.

Almost every week someone says to me, “Have you written anything on blended families?” My answer is always the same: “No, but I know someone who has.” I then recommend The Smart Stepfamily by Ron Deal. Not everyone can find a counselor who is equipped to deal with the common struggles of stepfamilies. However, when you read The Smart Stepfamily you will find yourself sitting in the offce of a counselor with great experience. No two stepfamilies are alike, but this book offers clear advice on how to solve the common challenges faced by all who enter a second marriage with children. I highly recommended the first edition, and I am even more excited about this new edition. —Gary Chapman


Ron Deal has given the church and stepfamilies a real gem. . . . He compassionately and competently describes the spiritual and relational challenges facing stepfamilies. Ron provides practical and wise instruction for successfully navigating the stepfamily journey. The Smart Stepfamily is the best book available for stepfamilies that I've seen. . . . Buy it, read it, and share it with a friend.
Dennis Rainey, president, FamilyLife®, and author of Stepping Up
The Smart Stepfamily has become THE go-to book for anyone interested in the difficult task of blending a family. We've pointed countless couples to this outstanding resource. And this revised and updated edition is better than ever!
Drs. Les and Leslie Parrott, founders of and authors of Saving Your Second Marriage Before It Starts
Ron Deal has, by far, the best material available on stepfamilies. The insights and suggestions he shares work. Every stepfamily will benefit from reading this book.
H. Norman Wright, licensed marriage, family, and child therapist, founder of Christian Marriage Enrichment, author



Ron L. Deal

Ron L. Deal

Ron L. Deal is a marriage and family author, speaker, and therapist ( He is Founder and President of Smart Stepfamilies ( and Director of Blended Family Ministries for FamilyLife ( Ron is the author of The Smart Stepfamily, The Smart Stepdad, and Dating and the Single Parent, and coauthor with Laura Petherbridge of The Smart Stepmom and with David H. Olson of The Smart Stepfamily Marriage. Ron is a licensed marriage and family therapist and licensed professional counselor who frequently appears in the national media including FamilyLife Today, Focus on the Family, HomeWord, and The 700 Club. He's also been interviewed by Ladies Home Journal, New York Daily News, WGN-TV and

He is a popular conference speaker and his video series The Smart Stepfamily DVD is used in communities, churches, and homes throughout the world. Ron is a member of the Stepfamily Expert Council for the National Stepfamily Resource Center and is a featured expert on the video curriculum Single and Parenting. Ron and his wife, Nan, and their sons live in Little Rock, Arkansas.