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Bring the romance back into your life; Family Lives.

THE Tyneside-based national charity Family Lives, formerly Parentline Plus, is encouraging parents to dim the lights this Valentine's Day and put the romance back in their relationship. The charity has found that 85.9% of parents had sex less frequently since having children and 72.4 % of respondents stated their sex life was not as good after children.

In a report issued by the charity, the key findings were: 44.4% admitted to having had sex less than once a week.

41% have been interrupted having sex by their children one or more times. 26.5% of parents blamed tiredness as the number one reason for not having sex more often.

23.2% of parents suggested that a possible improvement would be more time away from the children.

The charity has launched a series of top tips to help parents re-ignite the spark of romance. Don't feel selfish to want a life of your own - or a love life - once a baby is around. Strengthening your relationship will benefit the whole family and your children - it's not just for you. Children are happier when their parents have a strong physical and emotional relationship.

Be honest with each other about difficulties you are finding with the new baby or the children. Talking together and admitting what you are finding difficult eases resentment and will in turn directly benefit your sex life by improving your feelings for each other.

Think about sex in a different way. Try touching, cuddling, holding each other. It's never too much effort to have a cuddle.

If tiredness is the problem, get a friend or relative to have the baby for a while so you can have some time alone together.

It's never too late to re-start your sex life. If you've got into the habit of not having sex because of resentments between you, it's important to get these out into the open.

If you're a single parent, don't feel you have no right to a sex life because it's more complicated to organise. While it's true your children could be unsettled by meeting too many new partners, and it's best to keep your sex life away from home at first, you can do this with the help of family or friends.

Parents of teenagers: Your teens will probably be keeping longer hours than you and you may worry about never having privacy.

If you have room, try to make your bedroom more of a sitting room - so you have a "private space" together.

Make it a priority in your life to think about time when you can be on your own. * For more advice on this, or a range of parenting issues, log on to the website www.familylives.org.uk or call 0808 800 2222.
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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Jan 19, 2012
Words:461
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