This post was written about how your marriage and/or committed relationship with your spouse or partner affects your children. However, there are many aspects that can also be applied to the relationship between any two authority figures living in a house and raising children. For example, a mother and grandmother, aunt/uncle, etc.
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I’m sure you’ve heard the unsolicited advice of many a well-meaning person who has confidentially spoken the words to a newly-pregnant mom, “Well it’s not about you anymore. Now it’s going to be all about them.” **Points to barely pregnant belly.** While there are many levels on which that is an entirely accurate statement, there are some aspects of you that must be maintained and can greatly affect your children. Two of the biggest are the relationship with your spouse and the care of your marriage.
Anyone who’s been married for a while knows that YOU MUST CARE FOR YOUR MARRIAGE. It is like a child in a way. You must nurture it, you must pay attention to it, feed it, and care for it when it’s sick. When you care for your marriage, you not only care for yourself and your partner, but also for your children.
How your marriage affects your children:
You and your partner set the first and strongest model of what a marriage looks like.
Your children see your interactions with your spouse EVERYDAY. Even when you think your child is in their own world and not paying any attention to what the two of you are doing or saying, they are noticing. They hear your tone of voice, and they see your affectionate gestures toward each other (or lack thereof). They absorb the way you communicate with each other, how successful the communication is, and how often communication takes place. And most of all: they notice the respect each parent shows the other.
You can teach your children the importance of respecting people by being respectful of your spouse. Read about the importance of respect and how to improve your marriage through respect here.
Even though you aren’t actively teaching your children about marriage, they are learning about it daily. They are learning about relationships. Eventually, they will model your behavior in their own relationships with friends, relatives, and other people they care about.
You will instill in your child the core belief about how they should be treated in a relationship AND how they should treat their partner. The life-long effect of which cannot be understated.
Your children will learn how to handle disagreements.
If you blow up over small matters or use a harsh tone with less that kind words, your children will likely mimic that behavior when encountering their own arguments. On the other hand, if you’re able to react calmly, you have the opportunity to show your child communication and respect in action. The skill to be able to effectively and diplomatically handle disagreements is a core life skill. It will be extremely important in determining your child’s success in many aspects of life including personal relationships and business.
You can teach your children that marriage is sacred
Regardless of the demographics of the two people involved, a marriage or partnership is a revered commitment that commands and deserves great consideration and respect. You have the opportunity to teach your children the responsibilities and implications of making a life-long commitment to someone. This can set them up for a successful and meaningful relationship later in life.
We all have our less-than-grand moments, but we should always keep in mind the affect of our marriages on our children. If you strive to teach your children through example, it will be a great benefit to your whole family!
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