As parents, we are the biggest role models for our kids. And actions always speak louder than words, so kids will learn by example much more so than by what we tell them. There are plenty of things we need to think about modeling for our kids, but in my opinion, the best gift we can possibly give to our kids is to model for them how people who love and respect each other are supposed to treat each other. Of course, this would require two parents who are both very conscious about what that means, which is many times not the case.
In my house, that is clearly not the case, and that has been eating away at me over the years. If I could go back in time and choose a spouse who understands that a healthy relationship requires mutual respect and admiration, trust, having each other’s back, presenting a united front and supporting each other in front of the kids, listening to each other, compromise, sometimes putting your partner’s needs and happiness above your own, and so on, then maybe I would. But I can’t. So now I am worried that my kids will not have the skills and understanding that is necessary to have healthy relationships. I certainly hope they can learn by example of what not to do, but I am not going to hold my breath on that thought. I do talk to them about all of these things, but it is difficult to teach them without a partner who can model them with me.
I’m not perfect, and I don’t always follow my own advice, but I am at least aware of that and am consciously trying to make improvements where I can. With any luck, the kids actually ARE listening to me and will remember at least some of the advice I have shared with them about what I think is necessary for a healthy relationship. I hope you will appreciate my perspective as well, as I will be sharing that advice and more in posts to come. Stay tuned!
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