Monthly Archives: April 2016

Tips for your family relationship

Couples tend to get a lot of attention when they make the transition to parenthood. But when couples decide they want to have more children and extend the family, they don’t get the same level of support.

Evidence does suggest that couples who plan to have a second child have a strong ability to keep their relationship strong and are therefore more likely to stay together. However, that doesn’t mean that couples who are planning baby number don’t need any help.

Read on for tips on how to cope with a growing family

Making the decision together

The happiest couples with children tend to be those who make a joint decision to become parents. If both parents share the same intentions and both are actively involved in the decision making process, then they tend to handle the experience of a growing family much better.

If you want to have more children try sitting down together and planning what you want. Consider the following:

  • how many children do you imagine having?
  • how far apart would you ideally like the children to be born?
  • what sort of role do you imagine playing in the upbringing of future children? Will the balance of care giving change?

You may also want to discuss how day-to-day things will change. Consider how you will manage caring for the first and second child, how you will split chores, how your sleeping patterns will be affected and how you will schedule ‘couple time’.

Money pressures

Children are rather expensive to care for so when an extra child comes along, money will become even tighter.

Men typically tend to spend more time at work when a family grows – this can also cause strain on the couple and family relationships.

If you’re planning to have another child, or are currently expecting another child, it may be worth considering the following:

  • Can both of you work if you have more children?
  • Will one partner be expected to work extra hours in order to provide?
  • Are you able to afford childcare?
  • Are relatives or trusted friends available to help provide childcare if you can’t cover the cost?

How to be enjoyable on relationship

Despite some misconceptions, young disabled people have active sex lives. Some studies suggest that disabled adolescents may even be at greater risk of having unsafe sex.

Dating, sex, and romance are a standard part of many young people’s lives. However, most of us who’ve been through it or are going through it will recognise that sexuality can be very complicated and highly personal.

If you are a young person with a long-term illness or disability, it might feel like there’s a whole extra bundle of complications thrown in.

Disability can be associated with factors like social stigma and a reliance on the support of others, all of which can get in the way of how you meet new people and develop relationships . You may also have important routines around medication and treatments that affect how you manage your free time .

Many young disabled people have also expressed fear around being rejected by potential partners, worrying that they might not be considered attractive or won’t be thought of as a romantic partner .

Getting on just fine

However, despite evidence to suggest things might be trickier, some research suggests that disabled people are getting on just fine when it comes to sex and relationships.

While some studies showed relatively low sexual activity among young disabled people , others showed only minor differences between adolescents with and without disabilities when it comes to having sex, exploring sexual orientation, and the age of first sexual experiences .

It depends largely on the type of illness or disability you are dealing with. In one example, a study showed that young people with diabetes defined their relationship more by companionship than by physical intimacy and that relationships were more likely to last longer .

How to be a good parent

As teenagers, we are still figuring out who we are, and what we want from life. We are forging our adult identities, and our romantic relationships set the tone for the future.

Finding out you’re going to become a young parent plunges you into another major life transition just as you’re figuring out how to deal with the rest of life’s struggles . Ensuring you have the right support in place can make all the difference.

If you’re in a relationship, the increased stress of pregnancy and raising a child can lead to putting extra strain on the relationship. One study found nearly half of young parents’ relationships had broken up by the time the child was a year old [2]. You can protect against this by knowing about the factors that keep relationships strong, and where to get extra support.

Getting support

Just having a partner can be beneficial to you as a parent. Studies have shown that young mums supported by their partners feel more satisfied with their lives, have higher self-esteem, and are less likely to be stressed . They are also likely to feel more ready for parenthood.

However, if you don’t have a partner, you needn’t despair. Research shows that single young parents who have good support from their parents and other family members can also report feeling more satisfied with their lives, and are less likely to be depressed or anxious.

Even if you don’t have support from your family, you can still feel the benefits of external support by connecting with other young parents or expectant parents through online forums. This kind of social support and parenting advice is also linked to stronger wellbeing, so it’s worth seeking support wherever you can get it.

Relationship quality

To protect against the breakdown of a relationship, it’s important to think about relationship quality. Evidence shows that the good bits of your relationship not only protect against breakup, but also help you feel more confident as a parent. This is true even if your partner isn’t the child’s biological parent .

A positive relationship between you and your partner is also good for your child, as they are less likely to be exposed to conflict and stress .

A strong sense of mutual love and attraction can often be enough to protect your relationship, but if you want to do something to make things stronger, consider upping your relationship equity. This means that you both make an equal contribution to the relationship. You can do this by sharing chores and childcare, but also by showing equal affection and support .

If your relationship breaks down, and you’re not getting the support you need from family and friends, you can try visiting the young parents section of the Family Lives website or using our forums to ask for tips and social support from other young parents.

What is the effect of broken relationship

A miscarriage is an incredibly painful and emotional time for couples.

A report written by OnePlusOne, featuring interviews with couples who had gone through one or more miscarriages  revealed how different couples deal with the loss of their unborn child.

One participant in the study said that after two miscarriages, she and her partner experienced a lot of severe relationship difficulties.

‘When you go on the down side after a miscarriage, you just don’t want to know. Everybody is to blame and the person you are with gets it the worst.  I’d often go and sleep on my own, and make the excuse that our son was waking up at night. I think the only factor that kept us together at times was the fact that we had a son. We were both quite committed to him.’ 

Others feel like communication breaks down between the two of them, which can leave them feeling helpless at times: ‘You know there’s only so much asking you can do and if she’s not ready to talk then that’s it.’ 

However, it is more commonly reported that miscarriages can help a couple become closer.

Some participants in the OnePlusOne study described miscarriage as an experience in which they could both share and support one another equally. Couples also say a miscarriage is different to other issues such as the death of a parent, where one partner is being supported and the other provides support.

Following his partner’s miscarriage, one participant said that their relationship ‘had been made a lot stronger.