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cohabitationWith more and more family units in America cohabiting before or even in lieu of marriage, some are wondering about the effects that choice has on children of cohabiting couples. A Washington Post article criticized the practice, saying that cohabitation has replaced divorce as the biggest source of instability for families in America. Opponents of the practice maintain that the practice is a big issue for American families.

Increase in Popularity

The practice of cohabitation became increasingly popular in America in the 1970s, either before or as an alternative to marriage. In the early 1990s and leading up to now, cohabitation has become a commonplace venue within which to have and raise children. A report published in 2011 found that children were more likely to experience cohabitation than a divorce between their parents.

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child's emotional health, divorce, routine, children, parenting, raising childrenOften in divorce or child custody cases, the primary concern is, or should be, the well being of any children that are involved in the case. In fact, the standard the court uses to make decisions regarding custody and support is always what is in the best interests of the child. Now, a recent article suggests that establishing routines for children to follow is found to boost their social and emotional health, which would be in their best interests, and may help when adjusting to new lifestyle changes, such as divorced parents and split schedules.

Routines that Focus on Consistency

The article features a number of parents who testify to the fact that routines and providing children with constants in their lives helped them adjust to change while also teaching them to be flexible. The idea is not so much focused on sticking to a tight schedule, but rather valuing consistency that give kids a sense of security and belonging by providing them with structure and a stable environment. Research shows that this leads to kids feeling more competent and confident.

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