If you have kids you already know that children push you to the limit. It brings out your good and bad sides in equal measure and your kids continue to watch you like a hawk. Not that they mean any harm but as little humans, they just go absorbing what they see and they see you the most.
Your marriage is between the two of you and you may think that the kids have nothing to do with it (apart from the fact that they are a result of it). While they don’t, they pick up a lot from your marriage. They learn how to handle issues, how to treat other people even when you don’t agree with them, what love and marriage look like and how to live with people in general. Your interaction with your spouse teaches them about love and life.
As a parent you should set the right example for them. This doesn’t mean that you live out a fake marriage because that won’t help any of you. It means that you need to show them what a healthy marriage looks like and not a perfect marriage because we all know those don’t exist. Show them that a marriage can indeed be happy regardless of what is going on or what other people say about it.
It may feel a little daunting to know that someone is watching your every move. Look at it as an opportunity to set the pace for future generations because it is. This is one of the biggest ways to teach your children how to handle relationships (romantic or otherwise) when the time comes. So, in the spirit of modeling good and healthy practices, these are some of the things that your children should see you do.
As an adult you know that forgiveness isn’t easy and especially when the person who wronged you is someone you care deeply about. People cross each other all the time in relationships but your children need to see how to handle it. Holding grudges for long doesn’t help the situation so you need to learn how to forgive.
You have every right to be angry at your spouse (well, most times) but that doesn’t mean you can be disrespectful. It definitely doesn’t give you leeway to disrespect your partner in front of the kids. It automatically shows them that disrespecting someone when angry is okay. It also shows them that it is okay for them to disrespect your spouse too. They aren’t allowed to disrespect their parents and you know you can say mean things when angry.
Accord your partner due respect even when you feel they don’t deserve it.
Things will happen in your marriage and with your children that will make you want to strangle someone. Your blood will boil and your heart will race so fast but you will need to find brakes. Your kids don’t need to see rage in its purest form. Learn to keep a level head.
When they are older and need to learn how to do it, you will know what to tell them because you already tried it and it worked. It also increases your kids respect for you.
Random acts of kindness
Don’t wait for your spouse to ask for something or you to do it. Be nice to your partner, bring them gifts, do a chore they don’t enjoy, give them a foot rub and any other thing that would make your spouse happy and feel appreciated. It’ll teach your children to be kind to someone they love.
Laughter is the best medicine. A house filled with laughter is a great place for a child to grow in and it stays with them. Laugh with and at your spouse often. They need to see that you can have a happy life even through tough times.