Living harmoniously as a family is an ongoing, intentional journey. The beginning of that journey is marked by great anticipation and genuine excitement. A bride and groom have high hopes and great dreams as they start out life together. However, as in all journeys, there are unexpected challenges the couple will surely face. Those challenges include the arrival of children, which requires the couple to cultivate valuable parenting skills—without a handbook to follow! As each child grows, parents continue to adapt and adjust. Each age, from preschool through elementary school, requires adjustments along the way in order to keep the relationships harmonious. About the time we get our arms around all of that, the teenage years arrive! This time can be stretching and complicated, but it need not be impossible. It calls for even more adjustments and a greater willingness to change if we hope to sustain harmony in the home. And then—a brand-new set of challenges arrive: our children reach adulthood, with a mind of their own. Can there still be mutual respect and meaningful relationships in the family? How can that all-important harmony be continued between parents and their grown-up kids?
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