O'Brien County's Bell-Times-Courier -

Let's Talk About Relationships

 

February 20, 2020

Lori Hayungs

by Lori Hayungs, Human Sciences Specialist, Family Life

On our Science of Parenting Blog (https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/scienceofparenting/trends/), we're currently discussing different relationships and their effect on our parenting and children.

This week, I want to share some excerpts from my colleague Mackenzie Johnson's posts:

As I've shared before, I have two young kiddos at home right now. As a parent of young children, I still have to intentionally give thought to my relationship with my partner. In the mix of keeping up with an active preschooler and waking at night with an infant, it's easier than I'd like to admit to forget to dedicate time specifically to my partner. As the chaos of the recent holiday subsides, I am wondering when the last time was that we spent couple time together that didn't involve the kids, our jobs or the house? I know that my relationship with my partner can greatly influence my parenting and my children, so it's time to get back into focus.

It can be hard with young kids to find time to focus on the "couple relationship"... And I don't think I am the only one!

Let's review this with a Research & Reality lens:

RESEARCH: Well, the research is clear. The quality of adult couple relationships and positive parenting practices are connected to healthy child outcomes. So, the relationship I have with my partner affects my parenting and ultimately my kids. Having a relationship that includes good communication and shared decision-making is an important aspect of raising kids together!

REALITY – The reality is; however, I find only enough energy to take care of the next thing on my to-do list. Right now, it is usually work, play, supper, bath, bed, and repeat. Now don't get me wrong, routine can be a good thing, if it comes with intention.

But we also know the co-parent relationship looks different for every set of parents – maybe you're dating, married, divorced, separated, in different cities, living together, or somewhere between. Maybe your reality is a challenging relationship with your child's co-parent. The good news is that co-parents can intentionally choose to put their kids first – and one way to do that is by working on having a relationship with their co-parent that allows you to communicate and share decision-making in a way that benefits your children.

Mackenzie shared some great and relatable points, and we'll be sharing more on this topic over the course of the month. Follow along at https://blogs.extension.iastate.edu/scienceofparenting/trends/.

 

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