Sunday, March 3, 2013
A strong marriage is your best parenting tool...
However, I have seen too often the needs of children supersede the needs of a marriage. Not only have I seen it, I have lived it and do not want to do that again.
I read once that if a marriage is strong, a family is strong. If you put all your energy into your children and not your marriage, your marriage will fail and then so will your family. I believe this. I've felt it. Anyone who has kids and has been through a divorce knows the pain of that.
But if you put your marriage first, you really are putting your children first too. Giving them a stable, loving home and modeling for them the example of a strong, loving marriage is one of the best gifts you can ever give them. But you cannot do it by putting the marriage at the back-burner in an effort to focus on the kids.
To do this, I'd offer a few suggestions:
1) Make date night sacred. I don't care how you have to do it: grandma, uncle, cousin, babysitter, find a way to spend alone time with your spouse at least once a month. If you can't do it at night time, make a lunch date, a movie date during a weekday if you can both get off work, a weekend afternoon. This is a way to show your spouse they are a priority.
2) Participate church-related marriage counseling. I don't mean the kind of counseling you get when your marriage is struggling. My husband and I completed 6 weeks of counseling before getting married and learned we are a "vitalized" couple. How cool is that!
We also learned that out of 15 categories, we were 100 percent compatible in 7 areas, 90 percent compatible in 4 areas, 80 percent compatible in 3 areas and 70 percent compatible in 1 area. From this we learned that parenting expectations and marriage expectations would be our stumbling points. We know our strengths and where we need to continue to work. This was crucial for us as a couple.
3) Participate in a marriage retreat. I have not done this, but have heard fabulous things about them from other couples. I have heard of these turning a marriage around. I really hope to do one at some point.
4) Discuss with your children why a strong marriage is important. And model for them affection, love, putting each other first, kindness, compassion and even arguing. When Jason and I first got married, at the first inkling of a disagreement, Brady would run to his room, grab a plastic sword and position himself between Jason and I. Sigh.
On the one hand, no mother can feel more loved than when her 4-foot child is ready to take on the 6-foot guy for her without a whit of fear. But this was not a healthy response to marital disagreement. In the year and a half since, he has learned that sometimes Jason and I disagree, but we work it out, and it's okay. It is no longer the end of the world to him.
5) As hard as it is sometimes (and I still fail at this occasionally), present a united front. We are your parents. We love you. We are on the same page. This show of strength and solidarity really is comforting to kids. There is no question who is in charge and what the rules are. My parents are partners and working as a team.There are boundaries and the child is safe within them.
If you do disagree on discipline or rules or consequences, try to talk about it AFTER the kids are in bed, not in front of them. I forget this a lot. It may be even more important in blended families. Kids really do look for a crack in the armor, at least my boy does and he WILL exploit it if he thinks he can.
6) Do special things for your spouse. We get used to making treats and getting special things for our kids and celebrating their achievements. We need to do the same for our spouse to show them - and our kids - how special they are to us.
- Biscuit Topped Chicken Pot Pie
- My $4 Mudd boots from Salvation Army store
- 5 reasons I choose not to homeschool
- Deals at Aldi and Dillons, through April 2
- 3 free snailmail Sunmaid raisin recipe books
- 6 reasons collecting is a good kid hobby
- When the problem is behavior, not learning
- ADHD: teacher's attitude makes all the difference
- Proctor & Gamble free samples: I got lots of them!...
- Winter's last gasp? We enjoyed it...
- Spring brings lots of work to do...
- A claim code test, please disregard
- Natural talent: Brady's Super Square
- Free stuff from Smiley360, Campbells new soups
- The same boots, 2 Goodwills, 10 years apart
- You know you're in a small town...homemade cookies...
- Finding contentment in what we have...
- God's my King of Rock 'n' roll, 47 songs
- Anxiety buster: Eat more almonds!
- Cool American environmentalist folk art
- This weeks Aldi and Dillons deals....
- Getting your way may not be best
- Day 44 Getting Off Paxil: All done
- Try Something New Thursday: Almonds!
- 1st grade homework help: Spelling, reading, writin...
- Spring is here, but snow is coming...
- A cool Memphis/Southern/American experience
- Cool church sign...
- You know you're in a small town when... lost dog
- When to act and when to sit back?
- Dillons and Aldi deals (March 13 - 19)
- Follow your dreams, find your niche
- Pandora: Free music website
- Finding faith is like falling in love
- Behavior booster: Finding common ground
- Good behavior: practice makes...a lot better!
- Weight loss tip: Grocery store salad bar
- Improving spelling ... teacher's advice worked!
- "Love chemicals" wear off after 12 to 18 months
- Music releases feel-good brain chemicals
- Funny things Brady says ... about dreams...
- 80 easy, frugal, healthy packed lunch ideas
- Behavior booster: teaching "inside voice"
- Positive self-talk & 2 sermons that changed my lif...
- Try Something New Thursday: Hummus
- The power of rewarding a kid...
- A good laugh about my patio garden pots...
- Behavior booster: Work as a team
- Diverse friends keep us from judging
- God bless understanding teachers
- Almost time for the garden!
- Teachable moments: the new kid at school
- This week's deals at Dillons
- Ask yourself, "What can I do for them?"
- Change your hair, change your outlook
- Funny things Brady says... about commercials...
- Sweet things Brady says... about being a parent......
- I love Little Critter books!
- Divorce Care support group: A wonderful resource
- Coaching kids to fight their own battles
- A powerful idea: You can't change others
- No-tech Saturday: An exception & crafts
- A strong marriage is your best parenting tool...
- Food allergies: 7 alternatives to coloring eggs
- Wisdom from my mom: God's entertainment
- Why keeping a landline phone is a good idea
- Organizing tip: Tissue boxes for grocery bags
- Bunny tracks in the house we're building
- ▼ March (68)
I cannot believe that this blog started three months ago. At the beginning I wasn't sure if I'd have enough to say. Well, LOL, I n...
According to this article, Wichita has received the 2nd largest snowfall on record, reaching so far 14.2 inches, with the highest being 15 ...
Today I want to start talking about a topic very near to my heart: postpartum depression. According to the agency I volunteer with, Postpart...
Apparently Brady has learned about "humus" - broken down organic matter which makes wonderful soil - as opposed to "hummu...
This post is a part of the Fantabulous Valentine's Day Favorites blog chain put together by a great group of bloggers. The theme ...
So a recent discovery, given to me by my wonderful mother-in-law, is Walgreens' knock-off perfumes. They have all kinds, like fake Opium...
There's a good guest post at the Money Saving Mom blog today . Here's an excerpt: "Because of increasing gasoline prices we n...
Saw this article today and they had some good ideas. I forgot peaches in my 100 low-cal snacks! Here's the link: Spark People 100 cal tr...
Do you like my little depiction of a "worry bully" over there? I think that's kind of what they look like sitting on some...
Back in January, I posted this deal from Proctor & Gamble (I don't know if they have the same ones available or others now, but...