Keeping Parenting Relationships Strong

There are many indicators that the economy may be ready to rebound for more of the USA population then it has since the Great Recession was deemed to be over in 2009. A general trend in the last 100 years has been that when there were economic difficulties in the country that divorce rates fell. This would suggest that maybe they also declined during the Great Recession. However, getting exact numbers usually takes a half dozen years so for now we can only hypothesize.

What is it about economic downturns that generally causes divorce rates to decline? D’Vera Cohn writing for the Pew Research Institute on May 2, 2012 suggested the cause is that “Perhaps couples cannot afford to get divorced during hard times—it may be too costly to live separately, one spouse may lose health benefits, divorce itself can be expensive and so forth”. However she counters this by stating “But it’s also possible that stress caused by job loss, foreclosure or other economic injury may raise the risk of divorce. Some studies even suggest that hard times undermine the sense of shared goals that shores up a marriage, because couples avoid buying homes or making other investments”.

Ms. Cohn points out that a potentially confusing factor is that the “divorce rate has been going down for decades. If it continued to decline during the Great Recession and weak recovery, it would be hard to untangle how much of a role the economy played in the change”. It may also be a factor of Marriage rates being at all time lows for the USA in general.

So I thought when I initially started this blog that it would be easy to generalize and may a point that ‘if the economy is improving, then we will be seeing an increase in divorce rates for the coming years.’ With that I was going lead into a few suggestions on keeping a marriage or any type of relationship that involves a couple as parents strong. I guess that I really didn’t need that generalization though did I? And yet, that leads perfectly to the first factor in keeping a parenting relationship strong….Communication.

Be it written, verbal, text or even non-verbal communication is the key to success as a parent team. The communication needs to be honest. It also needs to be known that to be an effective communicator you must also LISTEN. Try to avoid being busy while the other person is talking or interupting or thinking you already know what they are going to say. Try to appreciate the differences between you and the person you are communicating with wether it be at the gender level or as part of their personality style. Make sure you communicate often and make sure the children see you being an effective communicator. This will help them develop their communication skills and develops their trust in you.

Speaking of trust, to me this would be the second biggest factor in keeping the parenting relationship strong. Here it calls for you to trust the other parent to have the best interest of the children as their priority. If you think different you need to address your feelings or concerns with the individual in a non-threatning way. Asking questions like ‘I didn’t understand why you asked the children to do that’; What was your reasoning in suggesting it would be better to do the homework after playing some video games; Why did you allow them to do that?, etc. By asking your fellow parent about their action in a question instead of as an authioritarian (I wouldn’t have let them…) or judge you are showing you trust and want to better understand what they did. Trust is often the foundation of cooperation.

Cooperation is the final factor to be discussed in this post but it is certainly not the last one of importance. By cooperating with each other you are using your time effectively to provide the 26 hours i a day needed to raise a child. Cooperation saves time since it allows you to work together in raising a child rather then in a state of constant conflict. Children tend to be smarter then we as parent like to think. They can detect hostility and tensions. The effect on the child is generally negative. It also often leads to them know how to ‘play’ of each of you.

So there you have three really easy…I mean important things to do that will keep your parenting relationship strong. If they were easy then there would not be so many divorces and broken parenting relationships in the country. It is tough work but in the end it is worth it for your children, your parenting partner and YOU!

Thanks for reading this and if you have a chance please vote for our school on the WGRZ WEATHER WORD…

If you have a few minutes this evening your vote to help our school get the WGRZ weather machine would be appreciated. Here is how to vote:

  1. Go to the Weather Machine Voting page link
  2. Select the County Name in the drop down box: Erie
  3. Select the School Name in the drop down box: St John the Baptist (Alden)
  4. Enter the Weather Word: Change
  5. Enter the Security Code that is displayed:
  6. Check the Rules and Submission Boxes
  7. Click Submit
  8. Do it again!

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Filed under My Experiences, Parenting

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