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Working Together to Raise Happy Kids

By: Elizabeth Grace - Updated: 16 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
 
Parents Family Children Team Stepparents

Happy kids often come from happy households. When parents work as a team to see that their children are raised in an environment of love, trust, and cooperation, they dramatically increase the chances that the kids will be comfortable and well-adjusted.

In stepfamilies, it is important that the parents and stepparents do all that they can to provide their children with just such a home atmosphere.

Parents are Partners for Life

When a couple has a child together, they are bonded for the rest of their lives, even if they choose to end their romantic relationship. A parent’s commitment to their children must continue, no matter the other circumstances that may arise, so mothers and fathers have an obligation to their kids to do whatever it takes to keep their children happy, healthy, and well-tended.

Cooperating with one another and welcoming stepparents into the parenting group is essential if parents hope to raise children who are never made to feel that they are in the middle of the adult disagreements. There needs to be a distinction between adult-only issues and those that involve input from children – and in general, those that centre on such topics as parental rights and child maintenance payments are not appropriate for children’s ears.

Minimising Family Conflicts

It can be hard for exes to put their differences aside and focus only on raising their children to be happy, well-adjusted people. Old wounds sometimes take a long time to heal and some never really do, but relationship conflicts are never the fault of the children, so they should not be the ones to suffer because of them.

Ex-partners who have been through especially bitter struggles may wish to seek counselling so that they can find healthy outlets for the feelings of anger and disappointment that plague them. In some cases, family therapy is in order, gathering members to help them work out their differences so that they can get on with the business of living without allowing their past experiences to darken their future happiness.

Happy Parents, Happy Kids

Parents and stepparents often have a lot of responsibilities; between work and home, many have difficulty finding any time to tend to their own needs, but everyone benefits when parents take a bit of time for themselves to rest and recharge. Personal time doesn’t have to be taken in enormous stretches (who has time for that?!), but it is important for parents and stepparents to do a few things for themselves. Reading, exercising, or socialising with friends are all activities that help parents to get away from the stresses of their daily commitments and ready themselves to take on all that they have to handle with energy and enthusiasm.

Many children in stepfamilies split their time between the homes of their parents, automatically giving each parent a bit of time away from their kids. By arranging their schedules with each other in mind and offering one another some flexibility, parents have the ability to work in some time for themselves, knowing that their children are in the capable hands of their other parent.

Attitude Matters

Life is rarely uncomplicated, but most people find happiness, despite the challenges. Yet some, who have seemingly small problems, wallow in despair. The difference in happy people and unhappy ones often comes down to a matter of attitude. Parents and stepparent can help their children to be happy if they teach them to look at the bright side of things and to direct their focus on all that they have, rather than what they feel might be missing.

Because kids tend to emulate the important adults in their lives, parents, stepparents, and others who are influential in the lives of children must exercise caution when they are tempted to behave in ways that they wouldn’t want to see repeated by the next generation. Determination, helpfulness, resiliency, and an optimistic outlook in parents are all characteristics often passed down to children, so parents need to take a good look at the ways in which they handle challenges in order to have children who are happy in this wonderfully complicated world.

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