Stepfamily Day 2020: When is Stepfamily Day 2020 & 2021?

Below you can find dates of Stepfamily Day 2020 and Stepfamily Day 2021. In the table you can check how many days you have been on holiday, which week is the holiday and which day of the month.

When is ..? Date Day of the week Week Number Day left
Stepfamily Day 2019 September 16, 2019 Monday 38 Passed
Stepfamily Day 2020 September 16, 2020 Wednesday 38 364
Stepfamily Day 2021 September 16, 2021 Thursday 37 729
Stepfamily Day 2022 September 16, 2022 Friday 37 1094
Stepfamily Day 2023 September 16, 2023 Saturday 37 1459
Stepfamily Day 2024 September 16, 2024 Monday 38 1825
Stepfamily Day 2025 September 16, 2025 Tuesday 38 2190
Stepfamily Day 2026 September 16, 2026 Wednesday 38 2555
Stepfamily Day 2027 September 16, 2027 Thursday 37 2920
Stepfamily Day 2028 September 16, 2028 Saturday 37 3286
Stepfamily Day 2029 September 16, 2029 Sunday 37 3651

Stepfamily Day

Stepfamily Day or National Stepfamily Day is celebrated on annually on 16th of September to appreciate stepfamilies. It is meant to help stepfamilies, otherwise known as "blended families," cope with the challenges involved in a shifting family paradigm. This is not a national holiday, which requires an act of congress.

National Stepfamily Day was celebrated on September 16, 1997 and has been celebrated every year since.  The purpose is to recognize and show appreciation for the importance and value of stepparents and extended families. Today, the U.S. Census estimates about 50% of families are some form of stepfamily.  The stepfamily has become the modern family.

Today, the National step-family day is recognized by 50 US states, Canada and the UK. One of the most common ways to celebrate the day is to host a family or neighborhood picnic. Other ideas include a special family dinner, game night or sharing another activity that brings step-parents together and provides an opportunity to get together and have fun.

Stepfamily Day Background

One in three Americans live in a stepfamily, and more than half of Americans will live in a stepfamily at some point in their lives, according to the Stepfamily Foundation, Inc. If you are not part of one, chances are you know someone who is. While much has been written about the “wicked stepmother” stereotype and stepparent struggles, an integral part of all these changing families is often ignored - the step kids themselves.

Stepfamily day was created by Christy Borgeld in 1997. Today, one in every three Americans live in a stepfamily and over 50% of Americans will live with a stepfamily at some point in their lives. It was created with the intent to "create strong family structures to support the individual members of the family, instill in them a sense of responsibility to all extended family members. According to the official proclamation, “National Stepfamily Day is a day to celebrate the many invaluable contributions stepfamilies make to enriching the lives of children and parents in America and, to strengthening the fabric of American families and society.” 

Stepfamily Day Celebrations

Things you could do to celebrate National Stepfamily Day: 

  • Have a family picnic (at the park, in your back garden etc.)
  • Organize a day out (museum, zoo, markets etc.)
  • Go camping by a lake, sea or in the forest
  • Go out to your favorite café/restaurant
  • Have a games day/night, play your favorite board games, just pick something the whole family can enjoy.
  • Make special cards for each member of your family and let them know how much they mean to you
  • Cook together, make something special and share it all together
  • Make up a family song
  • Make your own family movie (you could do this every year then have movie nught to watch them)
  • Play sports
  • Make a family calendar or scrap book
  • Have a PJ party
  • Come up with your own family symbol/crest or mascot! 

Stepfamily Day Customs and Traditions

The holiday was created in order to give step families a day to celebrate a strong family structure, give recognition to individual family members and instill a sense of responsibility in all extended family members. Communities across the U.S. celebrate the day at organized picnic gatherings. Families who cannot participate are encouraged to plan their own individual family activity on the date.

Stepfamily day is celebrated by appreciated and spending time with a person's stepfamily. The suggested celebration is a picnic at a park, just like it was first celebrated on September 16, 1997.

Stepfamily Day Facts

  • 1300 new stepfamilies are forming every day.
  • 40% of couples with children are step-couples
  • 75% of those divorced remarry
  • 100 million people in the US have a step-relationship of some kind.
  • The average marriage in America lasts only seven years.
  • One out of two marriages end in divorce.
  • Over 50% of US families are remarried or re-coupled.
  • 66% of those living together or remarried break up, when children are involved.
  • 60% of second marriages end in divorce
  • 70% of third marriages end in divorce
  • 80% of remarried, or re-coupled, partners with children both have careers.
  • The average time between first divorce & remarriage is about 3.5 years
  • 54% of women will remarry within 5 years of first divorce and 75% within 10 years
  • 50% of the 60 million children under the age of 13 are currently living with one biological parent and that parent's current partner.
  • According to the Pew Research Center, changes in the demography of American family life over the past half-century, have contributed to the prevalence of step-relatives. This includes more divorces and more babies born from unmarried mothers.
  • 42% of all adults in the United States have at least one step relative. 30% have a step or half sibling, 18% have a living stepparent and 13% have a stepchild.
  • Stepfamilies ultimately result from a loss, death of a parent/spouse, divorce, end of a long-term relationship, changes in lifestyle (e.g., moving, loss of job), and, therefore, involve grief on the part of both parents and children. This grief may remain unresolved and affect stepfamily relationships.
  • Children in stepfamilies are members of two households and, as a result of this situation, may experience confusion, discipline issues, loss of stability, and conflicting feelings of loyalty.
  • The role of the stepparent and status in the family is often unclear with regard to authority, level of involvement with the stepchild, and discipline. In addition, no legal relationship exists between stepparents and stepchildren.
  • Stepparents must assume parental roles before there is an emotional bond with the stepchild and are often required to make instant adjustments to a parental role. In contrast, biological parents’ bond with their child as the child grows.
  • Stepfamilies must cope with outside influences and ongoing change due to issues with the other biological parent and family members. 

Some of the things that children say they like about being in a stepfamily include:

  • It’s good to have extra adults to care for them, as well as their parents.
  • It’s nice to be part of a two-parent family again.
  • They enjoy a higher standard of living thanks to combined incomes.
  • Having extra family members means more people to talk to and other kids to play with.
  • It feels more secure and safe.
  • It’s great to see parents happy again.
  • There are more presents at birthdays and Christmas. 

Stepfamily Day Symbols

There are some suggestions and keys for happy stepfamilies that, while perhaps not applicable to every situation, have helped enough stepfamilies to be worth considering.

 

  • Blended families are usually formed after a painful event (e.g. divorce, death). Don’t rush the healing process or hurry family members to act like everything’s okay. Pushing them to embrace a new lifestyle and new family members may lead them to do the opposite. Allow as much time as necessary for the transition to happen naturally. Of course, disrespectful behavior needn’t be tolerated, but acknowledge that it’s okay for them to experience complex emotions as a stepfamily is forming. 
  • Don’t abolish the original families. Dr. Scott Browing, a leader in stepfamily research, explains that there is “no need to destroy one family to build a new one. Multiple families can exist within the greater umbrella of the stepfamily. In fact, accepting that often eases tension.” It’s healthy for each family to retain some of their traditions and to spend time with just each other once in a while.
  • The biological parent should be the primary disciplinarian, at least in the beginning. The step-parent often has their work cut out for them trying to gain the acceptance of the children. Expecting him or her to be the primary enforcer of consequences will merely increase the children’s resentment. The biological parent must step up to the plate and the children should be made to understand that the step-parent has authority because they’ve been “deputized” by Mom or Dad.
  • Define new “house rules” together, ideally in a step-family meeting. Rules from the “first-marriage” family are often revised or dropped from the remarried family, which leads to confusion and feelings of instability. Deciding together what rules to keep, drop, and change helps to unify blended families.
  • Establish co-parenting expectations with exes. Almost anyone who’s co-parented with an ex can tell you that chaos ensues when children have wildly different expectations and rules from house to house. Coming to an agreement is necessary. Depending on the relationship dynamics, some former couples can do this easily, while others cannot. In the case of the latter, a skilled family therapist can help establish co-parenting expectations and boundaries, with the clear understanding that therapy will be focused on agreeing on what is best for the children, not “airing dirty laundry.”
  • Let the kids decide whether or not to use “step” labels. Some children resent having to call an unrelated person their mother, father, sister, or brother, while others embrace it. Don’t dictate to them what labels to use; they’ve got enough going on that’s outside of their control that this one should be their call.

Check out the Stepfamily Day in the following years.