6 Things Your Kids Need To See In Your Marriage
My kids notice everything. When I paint my nails, they each have their thoughts on the color I chose. If I wear something I normally don’t, they have a few questions to ask or a compliment to deliver. If I work later than usual, they need to know why. With such inquisitive minds, it’s foolish for me to think that they aren’t watching my relationship with their dad as much as they watch everything else I do.
I want my kids to grow up to be kind, generous, loving, and understanding. I am sure you probably want the same for yours. The question we have to ask ourselves, though, is whether or not our kids consistently see us behave that way towards the person we vowed to spend the rest of our lives with. Sure, we can tell them right thing to do, but unless they actually see us doing it, our words don’t mean much.
Not only does our behavior influence how our children treat others in their world, but it also has a tremendous impact on their views about intimate relationships. So what exactly do our little ones need to see? Well, certainly not perfection. That’s a false image of what it means to be married. But they also should not grow up in the center of a tumultuous relationship. The stress of a situation like that will definitely play a negative role in shaping their lives.
So here are six things your kids need to see in your marriage. This will give them a positive outlook on love and marriage, while teaching them how to treat all the people they love.
Respect. When kids grow up in a home where their parents disrespect each other, they are more likely to undervalue the importance of being respectful. Respectfulness isn’t about total agreement, but rather about a way treating the people you love no matter how you feel. Kids simply need to see the people they love most respect each other.
Maturity. We are always on our kids about not being immature, but adults can sometimes pull some pretty immature stunts themselves. Giving your husband the silent treatment or refusing to do things for him around the home aren’t mature ways to handle conflict. Seeing you behave like this can teach your kids that being upset gives you the right to be as immature as you want to be. It’s not a message you want to send.
Healthy Disagreements. Learn to disagree without being nasty about it. Kids don’t need to see that. If you are so livid you feel like your top is about to blow, take a quick trip to the store alone. There’s never a good reason to blow up in front of your kids. Discuss things respectfully when you are upset, and if you are just too mad to make that happen, have the conversation when your kids are not around.
Affection. Even if PDA is not your thing, your kids need to see their parents express affection at home. Greet your husband with a kiss. Rub his back when he’s had a bad day. Give him a hug just because you love him. Children who see such tender moments between parents learn to understand how important it is to express your love in more ways than one.
Kindness. If you want to raise kind children, be kind to one another. Do something for your husband that’s unexpected. Surprise him with his favorite meal, or pick up his dry cleaning even though he didn’t ask. Kind parents raise kind people.
Appreciation. Everyone wants to feel appreciated. And with all that we do as moms, it sure is nice when our kids appreciate our efforts. One of the best ways to teach your kids how important it is to appreciate others is to let them see you showing your spouse appreciation. Whether through words or actions, expressing appreciation is something positive all kids need to see.
Martine Foreman is a life + relationship coach, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.