Photo by Eduardo Balderas on Unsplash
Last week I wrote about the impact we have on our children based on our interactions with our spouse/others. Today I want to focus on solutions to create positive outcomes. For example, when we say we’re going to do something, do it. Sometimes we say yes when we really mean no. Our children need to witness us being consistent in our words and actions so that they can trust us and others. “He said he was going to come watch my baseball game, but never showed up.” If you can’t trust your parents, who can you trust? Do you or your spouse violate boundaries by checking the other’s cell phone or emails without any obvious reason? What message does this convey to your children? Be transparent with your spouse by letting them know who you’re communicating with and allowing access to your accounts. At the same time, respect each other’s privacy. How often do you verbalize your love for your spouse and show spontaneous affection? We know that humans need ten physical contacts per day. Are you filling your spouse’s and children’s quota? Respect is another important aspect modeled by couples in their marriage. For example, if your spouse decides the consequence for your child’s misbehavior, respect their decision rather than undermining their authority by changing the consequence. Lastly, when conflict arises in your marriage, which it undoubtedly will, handle it constructively and appropriately. This requires an assertive dialogue and includes expression of feelings, validation, compromise, and the ability to let it go without harboring anger. Sometimes agreeing to disagree is the best you can do, but children need to observe that their parents can achieve conflict resolution. Remember our words and our actions shape the children we rear. Take responsibility for raising “relationship-healthy” children who will make the world a better place to live.