Stepfamily expert Ron Deal comments on this ad: The internet and YouTube is abuzz this week with chatter about the Doritos Super Bowl commercial featuring a young boy who confronts his mother’s date
with a slap on the face. “Keep your hands off my mama. Keep your hands off my Doritos,” he challenges.
The ad, a top 10 Super Bowl contender for 2010, is being called “creative, simple, witty, and amazingly effective.” Effective at what? Selling Doritos, sure. But more importantly, it is also an effective wake-up call for millions of Americans about the realities of remarriage and stepfamily living. (If only Frito-Lay knew how socially insightful they are.) Remarriage with children is a package deal but most couples are not slapped into reality until after they tie the knot. Only then do they realize how thick are the complications of stepparenting, coping with ex’s, fears of another break-up, and the jealousies of children.
· There are 35 million remarried people in the US and another 36 million who are divorced or widowed who might someday be in a remarriage;
· About 40% of all weddings are remarriages and most (those with children from previous relationships) form stepfamilies;
· One-third of individuals who got divorced in 2008 were redivorcing (that is, divorcing again);
· Over 60% of remarriages end in divorce subjecting children to yet another family disintegration.
· Multiple family break-ups then slap children in the face. Their emotional and psychological well-being and their confidence in the institution of marriage diminish contributing to a generational cycle of
But the cycle can be broken.
Marriage educators must help couples uniquely prepare for remarriage and stepparenting and our culture must not laugh in the face of stepfamily challenges. There is too much at stake.
My “coat-tail comments” — What does the Bible say about Step Families? Not much directly. Quite a few verses address attitudes and parallels however. Click here for an example. Ron Deal, himself, suggests several resources to help Step Families with the unique issues involved with blended families.