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Ohana Tips

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Parenting Together is Key

Keiki do best when they understand the rules. The second part of that equation is having makua and all other adults who are living with the keiki working together in running the household and raising the keiki.

The following are some of the key areas makua need to focus on and the benefits for the Ohana when adults work together in raising keiki.

Share parenting duties and responsibilities
When keiki see all adults sharing household responsibilities they are more willing to do their part by cleaning up their toys and otherwise helping around the house. They also do not grow up with stereotypical ideas about household responsibilities.
Communicate with each other openly and respectfully
Keiki learn to communicate by listening to the adults around them. Adults who communicate well with each other teach children to communicate well.

Discuss rules and consequences to compromise when beliefs are different
In order for adults to enforce rules and consequences they must know what the rules are. Makua often come into parenting with differing views of discipline because we are all raised differently. Makua must resolve these differences so they can demonstrate to their keiki that they are working together.

Be consistent in enforcement of the rules
Keiki learn the rules faster when they are enforced consistently by all adults who live in the home, be it makua, tutu or aunties and uncles. They also learn that the rules apply every time and will be less likely to break them.

Settle disagreements in constructive ways
Keiki learn how to problem solve by observing the adults around them. Adults are not always going to agree about raising keiki or other areas. However when they listen to each other's points of view respectfully and give well thought out responses they are able to come up with a solution in a positive way. Sometimes this problem solving includes compromise. As keiki observe this process they learn about constructive problem solving.

Support each other's decisions
Once a decision is made about keiki each makua must support the other, even when they are not in full agreement. If makua don't support each other in front of their keiki, keiki will learn to play one makua against the other.

Nurture their own relationship
Often makua spend so much time taking care of their keiki, getting back and forth to work and taking care of household responsibilities they neglect their own relationship. It is important to remember that you will still be in this relationship when your keiki grow up and no longer need you as often. If you don't do things to maintain your relationship now it may be difficult to maintain it later. Also, your keiki are watching you to see how adults treat each other and will use your example when choosing their partners in the future.

Makua who work together, are willing to talk through their disagreements and support each other and who work on their own relationship are more likely to raise keiki with fewer behavior problems.
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