Copyright 2023 Marline E. Pearson viii Young Parents and Co-Parenting Challenges The approach embedded in Love Notes is especially important for young parents. We should not assume these relationships are all viable, nor all doomed. Some have potential and are desired, but these couples need support and skills to make their intentions of staying together a reality and not just wishful thinking. Young parents need guidance for taking a realistic look at their relationship and determining if it’s viable or not. If viable and safe, they need to be able to identify what they both need to work on. If not, they need support in leaving safely. This kind of assessment, for which Love Notes provides the tools, is important for them as well as for their child’s wellbeing. Young parents need evidence-based communication and conflict management skills (included in Love Notes) to have a chance at a future together. How a couple communicates and handles conflict is perhaps one of the best predictors of how a couple will do over time. But they also need these skills to co-parent, whether they stay together or not. Young parents need a heavy dose of healthy relationship education. Research tells us that relationship instability and multiple partner fertility are more likely among young unmarried parents.3 Young parents will do better if they can either take a break from relationships on the one hand or work to strengthen their relationship on the other hand, and if they avoid having a second child too soon. Focusing on their child and parenting and pursuing their school and employment goals will benefit themselves and their child. But also critically important is learning to choose a partner more wisely and cautiously with their next relationship, since most will have subsequent relationships. The skills embedded in Love Notes can help young parents slow down the relationship- go-round that is so common as much as it can help those young parents who wish to improve and stabilize their relationship. Their future success and their child’s future success will be strongly linked to their ability to form and maintain a stable, healthy intimate relationship or to stay single, stable, and away from destructive relationships as they focus on their own development and child. An Activity- and Media-Based Approach Love Notes is packed with lively activities that use real-life relationship, work, and parenting scenarios, written by diverse teens and young adults. It incorporates popular
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