Teen Relations Newsletter -- by Klaus Klein
-- Marriage and Raising Kids --
This is a wide and deep topic.
Parents often focus their total energy
on raising the kids and then forget about
their own marriage relationship.
When in reality, marriage is one of
the most important aspects and
influences on raising kids.
Over the years I have worked with
well-meaning parents who believed
in the idea that it is best to stay
together for the sake of the children.
No doubt that divorce can be sad, scary,
and disruptive to a family unit. It is the
last resort for a couple. However, it is
not the worst.
Long-term research through the
Gottman institute on marriage shows that
staying together in an unhappy marriage has
more of a negative impact on children than
The best thing to give your children is a
'happy marriage'. The next best thing you
can give is a 'happy divorce'.
"Happy" in the context of marriage means
being in a successful relationship.
Being in a successful relationship means going
through the ups and downs of life and the
marriage relationship in a caring, trusting,
loving. growing, and supportive manner.
A "Happy" divorce means a separation with
minimum drama. It means the husband and wife
relationship is ending, which can be very sad, painful,
However, when a married couple ends their marriage
relationship, they can still work as a parents to
raise the kids.
In fact, when the marriage stress is no longer a
factor between a married couple, an ex-wife and
ex-husband can actually work well for the
sake of raising the kids.
I see 3 basic options for parents to consider.
1) Work on the marriage and make it
a successful one. This impacts not only
your relationship and your life but your
parenting in many positive ways.
2) Do nothing and live with the unhappiness.
Bear in mind that this impacts your
relationship, your life, and your
parenting often in exhausting ways.
3) Get a divorce and work on being happier
adults/parent who can then work together for
the sake of the kids.
So for parenting kids, working on the marriage
is vital to a healthy family life.
If that absolutely cannot workout. Then
work on a divorce in a manner that allows
room for supporting each other as parents.
The goal is to have a 'parenting' relationship
with each other for the sake of the children.
Divorced couples don't have to be best friends.
I have seen and worked with divorced couples
who when it comes to raising their kids, they come
together and work well for the sake of rasing
Yes they will have some disagreements at times,
just like every successful married couple has when
But they don't bad mouth each other in front of the kids.
They speak respectfully to each other and recognize
that the other parenting partner does love and wants
the best for the kids.
This is far healthier for the family, parenting, and
Klaus Klein MA, RCC is a Registered Clinical
Counsellor in BC.
His Office is : 5050 Kingsway, 2nd floor in
Burnaby near Metrotown.
Office Hours : Mon - Fri 10:30am - 7:30pm
Website : http://kdkcounselling.com/