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Healthy Families

National studies show that children who are raised in 2-parent households have more success in both childhood and adulthood. 

That’s why it’s important to make sure your relationship a parent is as strong and healthy as it can be.  Happy couples are more able to cope with life's challenges and create a stable and safe environment for their children.

Research shows that what separates stable and healthy relationships from unstable and unhealthy ones is not how often couples fight, but how couples manage their conflict. Fortunately, healthy conflict-resolution and relationship skills can be taught.

Communicating with your partner

Positive communication between partners is one of the cornerstones of a happy family.

Positive communication means being able to openly discuss important issues and know that your partner will hear you. It means that your opinions are valued and that you will not be criticized or put down if there is disagreement between you.

The arrival of children into your family means you must reach agreement on a whole new collection of issues. Before you have children, it is a good idea to make time to talk with your partner about the following topics:

  • How will we divide the new parenting tasks - the enjoyable such as entertaining children and playing together—the everyday like feeding and bathing—and the mundane like extra house cleaning and laundry?
  • What sort of discipline will we use to help the children make good decisions about their behavior?
  • How will we support each other in the rewarding but sometimes busy and stressful task of bringing up children?

After you are parents, it is important that you continue to work together on your relationship.

  • Firstly tell each other how you feel and what your needs are. Partners are not mind readers and each person needs to be told what is required.
  • Listen closely to your partner as they talk. Listening is a skill and should be practiced daily. It involves not only hearing but also the ability to accept what is said without judging or criticizing. Always give the speaker plenty of time to finish what they have to say. Avoid interrupting.
  • Try to think of as many solutions to an issue as you can. Brainstorm ideas and then choose the best option.
  • Remember, just as you use loving words to your children practice using them towards each other.

The links provided below can provide you with more information about Healthy Families, Healthy Marriage, and Healthy Partnerships.

Department of Children & Families, Strengthening Families

Healthy Families Florida