In 2017, we are incredibly lucky to live in a time when the term ‘family’ can mean all sorts of different family units. From traditional nuclear families to blended, lone parent, or civil families, families come in all different shapes and sizes. The fact is, that whatever the makeup of a family, as long as everyone is happy and the children are loved, it doesn’t matter. A happy family is the key to healthy and well-rounded children.
The issue is that often, making family life work can be difficult. From living together to co-parenting, life as a parent isn’t always an easy task, especially when you have various other hurdles, aside from parenting to think about. Bearing that in mind, below is a guide to playing happy families and ensuring that your family unit is a strong as possible.
Focus on nurturing individual relationships
You might be keen to build one strong family unit, but to do that, you need to focus on individual relationships. This means building strong bonds with each member of your family, from your biological children to your step children, if you have any, that is. Kids love one-on-one time, so make an effort to give each child in your family that special one-on-one time, and ask your partner to do the same. Do this with your children, your partner’s children, and any children that you share, as well as with each other. Strong family units are built through spending time together.
Put agreements in place
There is no getting away from the fact that sometimes families break down, and when that happens, there can be a big mess to sort out. It can help to make the process of separating easier if you have agreements in place, such as a cohabitation agreement if you live together or a prenuptial agreement if you are married. For lone parents, putting a custody agreement in place can work well, and can help to make the transition from being married to separated easier for everyone. Using specialists like Slater Heelis’ family law solicitors to put these agreements in place is vital, to ensure that every aspect is covered and that they are legally binding. You may not be keen to put these kind of agreements in place, but the fact is you need to be realistic and take steps to protect the entire family, should the unexpected happen.
Have respect for other parents
This might be obvious, but it’s not always easy to do. Whether you live with your children’s other parent, you co-parent with them, or you are co-parenting your partner’s children from a previous relationship, it pays to have respect for other parents in the family. Always listen to the views of your children’s and step children’s other parents, and communicate clearly with them. Don’t be rude or disrespectful, always aim to show a united front for your children. Kids have a habit of playing parents off against each other, which is why showing a united front is always vital.
There you have it, your guide to playing happy families regardless of the type of family that you have. Whether you are parenting a nuclear family or co-parenting with your ex-partner, it doesn’t matter, the advice above still applies to your family unit.