Nicole Richie and Joel Madden are parenting 'team'

Joel Madden with wife Nicole Richie
Joel Madden with wife Nicole Richie Bang Showbiz

NICOLE Richie and Joel Madden don't want to follow the example of their own parents.

The couple - who have children Harlow, six, and Sparrow, four - both saw their parents divorce when they were younger so vowed as soon as they learned they were expecting their first child to work hard as a "team" to provide their kids with a "healthy family life".

Speaking on 'Oprah: Where Are They Now?', she said: "We met and we were partners from day one.

"And from the second we found out we were going to parents together, we looked at each other and we said, 'OK, both of our parents are divorced. We both have had ups and downs with our parents and we don't really have a strong example of what a healthy family life is. But, we're recognising that now, so let's work at it and let's go through this together as a team.'

"It's been great. And I would say that's the easiest and hardest part."

The 32-year-old beauty - who married Joel, 35, in 2010 after four years together - likes to "explain" things to her children and be as honest and open as possible, offering them a "voice" in return.

She said: "I have to always come from a place of love and compassion with them.

"My kids operate best when I let them have a voice. I really explain things to them, because really, kids want to be told the truth. They just do. They just want you to be truthful.

"They can feel it and they know you. And they know you more than you know yourself."

Topics:  celebrity joel madden nicole richie oprah winfrey parenting

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