Is your marriage a relationship role model for your children?
If you are parents with children, then yes, you are the role model for their behavior and expectations in a relationship.
Your children are watching, learning, and going to emulate. What do you want them to see, learn and apply to their lives and relationships?
Power of Observation
It is important for you to be mindful of how you treat your spouse for many reasons. Married parents have an extra important reason since there are little eyes watching and learning.
Children will mirror their parent’s relationship and it is your job as a parent to teach your children what a healthy relationship looks like and how to create one. Your interaction as a married couple will have a lifelong impression on your children.
What are Your Children Learning?
Your children are listening as you talk to your spouse.
Do you yell, curse, ridicule, criticize?
Do you listen to each other’s point of view with empathy and an openness to understand your spouse’s perspective?
Are you creating an emotional secure atmosphere in your marriage with effective communication skills and a respectful way of resolving conflicts? If you are then you are a great relationship role model for your children to see. They get a front row seat to what a healthy, committed relationship needs to look like for a harmonious marriage.
If you are not, then now is the time to evaluate your relationship and figure out the best way for you and your spouse to become a relationship role model that you want your children to emulate.
Eight Positive Tips to Being a Relationship Role Model
These tips will help strengthen your marriage as well as provide a positive example of what a healthy marriage should look like.
- Saying thank you to your spouse shows your children that it is important to be appreciative. It shows them that you should not take things and people for granted.
- Give your spouse genuine compliments about a variety of things. Your children will notice this and start giving their parents, friends and maybe even their siblings some compliments. Being able to give and receive a compliment is an important skill and this is a great way to teach it.
- Show forgiveness and let them know that no one is perfect. We all make mistakes. It is how you handle the mistake that makes the difference. When I am working with couples, many times I hear, “we don’t repair, we sweep things under the rug.” As their marriage therapist, I explain that rug must be very tall after X number of years of marriage. We discuss the need to repair because if we do not repair it will be repeated in a later argument. Thus, continuing an unhealthy cycle where resentment has an opportunity to grow. A proper repair is a valuable lesson you can impart on your children.
- When it comes to household chores, take the attitude that everyone pitches in. This will teach your children that both parents take responsibility and pride in their home. It is also a great lesson in teamwork.
- Have fun with your spouse, laughing, acting silly, singing, and dancing. It is important to enjoy life with your spouse and let your children see how a married couple could enjoy the time they spend together.
- Show your children that your spouse’s opinion matters when you are making decisions. If it is a kid friendly topic, let them listen to how you discuss and decide on what you are going to do. Watching the process and even becoming a part of it is a powerful way to teach children how to make decisions especially if it includes differences of opinion and compromises needed to be made.
- It is important for your children to see as many positive interactions with you and your spouse. But if a problem arises and it will, model appropriate problem-solving skills so they can learn what to do in a difficult situation.
- Express appropriate signs of affection, a hug, a kiss and say, “I love you.” This shows your children that affection is a valuable part of a loving relationship.
Think of your interactions with your spouse as “teachable moments.” Remember your children are watching, learning, and imitating.
Being a good relationship role model is one of the most powerful tools you have in your parenting tool belt.
So, use your tools wisely.
You will all benefit!
You and your spouse will have a strong marriage.
Equally beneficial, will be your children learning how to have a happy and successful relationship because they live with parents who are excellent relationship role models.
Ask yourself, “Is your marriage one that is worth imitating? If your child’s marriage was very similar to your marriage, would that make you happy as a parent?”
Remember parents, you are your child’s first and most important role models. Therefore, it is imperative you set a good example. If your marriage is not one that you would define as a “good example of marriage,” then contact me, I can help.
I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over 20 years of experience. Relationships are my life’s work and I am dedicated to helping couples and marriages all over Florida. I Transform Relationships, one relationship at a time and yours can be next.
Your Relationship Expert,