If you are parents with children, then yes, you are the role model for their behavior and expectations in a relationship. 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.
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 child 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 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.
- 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 a decision. If it is a kid friendly topic, let them listen to how you discuss and decide on what you are going to do.
- 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, imitating and learning. Being a good 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 relationship and your children will learn how to have a happy and successful relationship.