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Healthy relationships are important to a family’s physical, emotional, and financial health. In particular, parents’ relationships can affect children in several important ways:
Healthy parenting is one of the strongest predictors of child well-being, child development, and child outcomes. Parents with healthy couple and co-parenting relationships increase the likelihood that children will be raised in a safe, nurturing, and stable home environment because there is a “spillover effect” where the quality of the couple relationship spills over into the parent-child relationship.
New parents, in particular, may need targeted support as they learn to navigate caring for a new baby, relationships, finances, and all the other considerations that come with parenthood. As parents seek to identify their new roles and responsibilities, they may need additional support to help prevent or minimize parent burnout
Parents serve as role models for children’s relationships. If children are not able to envision a healthy relationship, they are more likely to have greater difficulty navigating their own relationships in the future. For example, parents who engage in frequent conflicts and have poor coping techniques expose their children to unhealthy relationship behaviors.
However, there is a huge difference between navigating life’s typical parenting challenges and a toxic, high-conflict or abusive situation. Visit our Family Crisis section for information of 24/7 resources available to support you and your family if you are in crisis.
Click the FROM OUR LIBRARY link above to access resources that support parents and promote child well-being. The resources will help parents to: 1) effectively manage different parenting styles; 2) learn tips and strategies that protect them from risk of child abuse and neglect; and, 3) build strong parenting partnerships and practices overall.
The Center for Developing Child, Harvard (external link) website offers brief videos on the impact of excessive or prolonged stress on the body (esp. the brain), learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. || Positive Parenting Tips (external link) is a free online resource from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; covers parenting at each stage of life and includes age-specific downloadable tip sheets. || The Helping Your Child (external link) free publication series from the Dept.of Education features practical lessons and activities for parents to help their school-aged and preschool children master the skills and values needed to achieve.
Core Healthy Marriage and Relationship Skills: Parenting is one of four courses in the Core Healthy Marriage and Relationship Skills series. This series uses an “inside-out” approach: The course will help you better understand healthy parenting at a personal level; and equip you to navigate parenting challenges. Check out the course, then take the quiz and see how you do.