Manner Monday: Blended Families and the Family Signature

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A reader reached out to me with this timely question.  So I reached out to a friend of mine, Amy Urbach, who is the founder of Blended and Bonded which is a non-profit whose mission is to equip blended families with the information they need to become successful, bonded families.  One of the statistics listed on the Blended and Bonded website is 42% of adults have a steprelationship. This is either a stepparent, a step or half sibling or a stepchild; which translates to 95.5 million adults.  Needless to say, I thought many others would benefit from the topic.

With the holiday season upon us, many families’ begin sending out holiday cards.  My family is a “blended” family with part of us with one last name, “Cordell” and the children from a previous marriage with another, “Orr”.  The question is how should our Christmas signature read since we have two last names?  I have historically just left off the last name and signed only first name but this year our card format requires both last and first names. Thanks! – Andrea

Amy suggests hyphenating the last name, placing the couple name first.  Amy and her husband Eric would use the family name of Urbach-Chilvers.  If it were her childrens’ dad and his new wife, it would be Chilvers-Adams.   If first names are included we suggest going with:  Amy and Eric (the couple), Anna U., Brian C., Hannah U., and Mike C., (listing the children either chronologically or alphabetically if there are children whose ages are the same). 

Experts predict stepfamilies will be the most common type of family in the USA, 68% of re-marriages involve children from prior marriages and that 2100 new blended-families are started every day in the US.  With these statistics…I see many more questions such as Andrea’s on the horizon.


On another note… If you still need Christmas gifts, we have darling place mats that help the little ones in your life get a jump start on their table manners and make dining more fun?  We also have personalized stationery in a variety of color choices. Hop over to our Products Page to take a peek.

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