Nothing brings your strengths and flaws to light like becoming a parent. My kids remind me every day that they are watching everything I do. They appreciate the moments when I get things right, and they see the moments when I don’t. Every. Single. Moment. They may not say a thing, but I know they see it all.
And although my relationship with my husband isn’t about my kids, it certainly does impact them. My children see how I interact with their dad, and it sends them very clear message about love and life. The same is true for your kids.
Watching how you manage your relationship is the first lesson your children learn in how to manage a romantic relationship. It’s the first example they see of what a marriage looks like.
And this doesn’t mean that you have to show your kids some fake example of a perfect marriage. That won’t serve them well because we all know that no marriage is perfect.
But you do want them to see healthy habits. You want your kids to see that although marriage is not a union based in perfection, it can be a happy union if you manage it well.
So even though it’s nice to live your life like you aren’t being watched, as parents, we have to know that their eyes are on us.
The people we are responsible for raising are looking to us so they will know how to establish healthy relationships when it’s their time. So as we all make an effort to show them how this love thing should work, here are five habits you want your kids to see in your marriage.
The Ability to Forgive
Forgiveness isn’t always easy, but as parents, we have to show our kids how important the capacity to forgive is. If your spouse wronged you in a major way, hopefully your kids don’t know the details about it. But if you are holding on to grudges, you have to find a way to forgive.
Acts of Kindness
One of the things I adore about my husband is his ability to do nice things when I don’t even ask him to. It’s always a pleasant surprise, and it keeps our marriage strong. When children see their parents doing nice things for one another, it teaches them how important it is to be kind when you love someone.
You can’t disrespect your partner sometimes and expect your kids to ignore it. They notice everything you do.
You are entitled to be mad at your partner—pissed off, even—but that doesn’t give you to right to be disrespectful. And it especially doesn’t give you the right to disrespect your spouse in front of your kids. It teaches them that disrespecting people you love is okay if you are mad. We all know it’s never okay, though.
A Sense of Humor
Laughter is good for the soul and for your family. Your kids need to see you laugh. Laugh with your spouse and laugh with him often.
A house filled with laughter is something that stays with a child. As they get older, they will have a better understanding about the tough times you faced as a couple, but they will always remember that you laughed often.
A Level Head
One of the best habits you can show your kids is the ability to control your temper. Marriage can be hard, and something may happen that gets your blood boiling. The thing is, your kids don’t need to see all of that.
They don’t need to see perfection, but they also don’t need to see anger and rage. Some emotions should only be expressed when your children are not present. Try your best to keep a level head, so you can show them how to do the same one day.
BMWK family, what habits do you want your kids to see you practice in your marriage?