5 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Committed Relationships

BY: - 5 Dec '13 | Parenting

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Married folks know the amount of work required in creating a healthy relationship. For others, looking on from the outside, it may sometimes look like it’s more trouble than it’s worth. Some of our marriages paint a negative image and send others running in the opposite direction. I’ve heard singles say they’d rather stay single as a result of being a witness to unhealthy partnerships. Even our children are observing and their futures will be a result of what they see in the home. Some will go on and be successful in love and marriage. Others might struggle in their unions because they aren’t sure of what it takes to make it all work. Then, there will be those who avoid commitments altogether because they may doubt the power they have to be happy in love.

Commitment is a big deal and should never be entered into lightly. Those who avoid commitment find themselves bouncing from relationship to relationship. They fear the long-term connection a serious relationship could bring about. They typically flee at the first signs of real love. Usually they find themselves alone, wishing and desiring more. They end up with regrets and sometimes other issues. They sometimes never get to experience the joy that a strong marriage will deliver. They could potentially go their whole life without loving someone special. Although it will ultimately be their choice, I don’t want this for my daughters.

It’s a huge responsibility as a parent to manage a household, raise a family and maintain a great marriage at the same time. However, our children need to be guided, not just in training for adulthood, but being equipped with what they need to become a great spouse. If my daughters do decide to marry and raise a family, there are certain things I want them to know:

Yes commitment requires work, but it greatly adds to your life when done correctly.

Their relationship will be a direct reflection of what they put into it and the person they choose.

They must be careful in the selection. One bad pick can cause a lifetime of regret.

They can’t run when things seem a little harder than they thought.  With everything worth having, they will have to realize they will have to contribute.

They are deserving of true love and happiness and it is okay to pursue.

I am always mindful that my daughters are watching our every move. They giggle when we hug and they sit quiet when we disagree. I know they are just soaking it all in, preparing themselves for their future relationships. My daughters make me want to give my marriage my everything. I don’t want them to live a life without experiencing love at its best.

BMWK, what are you showing your children about commitment?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.


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2 WordPress comments on “5 Things I Want My Kids to Know About Committed Relationships

  1. Roni Faida

    I think kids should know that commitment doesn’t have to be horrible. People should have homes that are happy to be in. There should be laughter and joy, being in a loving relationship should be reflected in the home you live in. Affection, intimacy and joy should be a part of that commitment and kids should see all of that.

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What Are You Teaching Your Kids About Santa?

BY: - 6 Dec '13 | Parenting

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When I was a child, I believed in Santa Claus.  I don’t think my belief was long-lived, but I did believe in him until I was about 6 or 7.  I never thought he brought all the gifts, but whenever I would get a “big” gift, I thought it was from him.  I’m not quite sure if my mom or dad told me that, or if it’s just what I chose to believe.  We lived in an apartment building on the 3rd floor, so I was certain that Santa just climbed down the fire escape while the reindeer waited on the roof.  It made sense to me.

A few years back, before I had children, I was driving home from work and listening to the radio.  They were talking about what families choose to tell their children about Santa Claus and why.  A listener called in to share his thoughts.  He said “ I’m a single dad and I bust my butt all year to provide for my kids.  Why the hell should I let some fat white man take all the credit?”  Although I was always cool with the idea of Santa, I had to admit that this man had a point.

After listening to that, I always wondered what I would tell my children about Santa.  I didn’t think believing in Santa took away from the true meaning of Christmas, but I knew some people who felt this way.  I even have family members who have never encouraged their children to believe in Santa.  At a very young age, their kids knew the truth.  Frankly, I understand and respect their position on the issue, but I’ve never felt like I would do the same.  Yet, I remained unsure for a while, wondering what would my husband and I tell our little ones?   Would we have them believe that this bearded man did it all?  Would we tell them the truth and potentially let them ruin the magic of it all for their friends?

I was conflicted, especially since we are Christian, and what is most important to us is raising children who truly understand what Christmas is and why we celebrate it.  It’s been commercialized so much, we were determined to raise children who weren’t caught up in the imagery, but rather in the true meaning of the holiday. They needed to understand why the birth of Christ is so important.

We now have two kids.  My son is almost 4-years-old and my daughter just turned one. As far as our son is concerned, Santa Claus does exist, but he is a deliveryman. He knows that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Christ, but if you ask him to explain things about Santa to you he will say, “All of my gifts are from God.  Mommy and Daddy bring some of them, but Santa Claus delivers the rest of them to my house.”  This was our way of teaching him that everything he receives, from his food to his toys, are gifts from God, but that the jolly, bearded man is purely a delivery guy who follows God’s instructions.  This works for our family.

I think there is pressure to have children believe in certain things, but as parents we have to determine what is best for our children and our family.  What works for my family may not work for yours, and that is okay.  There is no reason for all of us to teach our kids the exact same thing.  I do think that if your family is Christian, children should understand why we celebrate Christmas.  Now, what you choose to tell them about the bearded man… well that depends on what you want them to believe.  Whatever you decide is right for your family.

Christmas is a very meaningful holiday in our home, mainly for religious reasons.  Admittedly, however, I do love the magical quality of this time of year.  The look on a child’s face when they see a large Christmas tree, or a Christmas show, or freshly fallen snow – it’s truly a wondrous moment for them… and for me.  I enjoy it so much.  One day, our kids will know that mommy and daddy deliver all the gifts from God, not Santa.  However, we don’t feel like that day needs to be today.

BMWK Family, what are you teaching your kids about Santa Claus this Christmas?

Featured image: melodi2

About the author

Martine Foreman wrote 496 articles on this blog.

Martine Foreman is a speaker, writer, lifestyle consultant, and ACE-certified Health Coach who specializes in helping moms who want more out of life but feel overwhelmed and confused. Through her content and services, Martine is committed to helping women embrace their personal truth, gain clarity, and take action to create healthier, happier lives. For more on Martine's candid views on life and love, visit her at candidbelle.com. To work with her, visit her at martineforeman.com. Martine resides in Maryland with her husband, two kids and sassy cat Pepper.


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