Because they look up to you, your children are always observing. Although this may sound like a lot of pressure, it doesn’t have to be difficult. Having children can challenge you to be the best version of yourself because you are always setting an example, so make sure it’s a good one.
Here are six exercises that you and your partner should always practice in front of your children.
Joke around and be silly.
Keep in mind that it’s ok to let go and be goofy every once in a while. If you spend too much time being the “serious” parent, your child may lack a sense of humor in his or her adult life. Laughter is the best medicine, and it releases endorphins in our brains to lift our spirits and brighten our moods each day.
Let loose, crack some jokes, play silly games, dance around the room. Teach your child that having fun in life, even during the hard times, makes days a little more enjoyable.
If you see your children watching you interact with your significant other, don’t be afraid to display non-sexual affection and give them an example of what a healthy relationship is so that they will know what to expect when they’re older.
Hand-holding, hugging and making eye contact when talking to each other are great ways to show that Mom and Dad love and respect each other. Don’t forget to be affectionate with the kids, too.
One of the best lessons you can teach your kids is to always apologize when you are in the wrong. Sometimes it feels like the hardest words to say are “I’m sorry,” but apologizing doesn’t have to be a difficult action.
Take advantage of every opportunity you get to sincerely apologize to your partner or your children. If you accidentally bump into them, apologize. If you throw away food that they weren’t finished with yet, apologize.
Eventually, apologies will become natural for your children and hopefully, they will lead to a life with long, healthy relationships.
Your child is going to be in many situations growing up where he or she will have to compromise with someone else – a sibling, a friend, you, etc.
Show them how to properly do this by regularly compromising with your partner in front of them. You can compromise on simple things like what you both want to eat for dinner or where you want to go shopping. Your children will learn that they won’t always get their way, but if they’re open minded, they can still be satisfied.
Work through a difficult problem together.
Parenting is a tough job, and many problems will arise during business hours (24/7). Problems can involve anything from financial issues to illness. However, it’s important to stay calm, and show your family that you all need to stick together and figure out a solution.
Sit at the table with your family, or just your partner, and write down possible solutions, pros and cons of each solution, and come to a strategic solution together. When you write everything out and talk it over with your partner, your children will see that problem solving comes from staying relaxed and thoughtful instead of screaming, fighting and getting stressed out.
It’s ok to not always agree with your partner, but it’s not ok to get into an argument, especially in front of your children. If your partner makes a statement that you disagree with in front of your children, the best thing to do is say “I respect your opinion, but I disagree with you.”
Your partner should also make an effort to stay calm, even if your disagreement upsets him or her. Not only is this important to keep your personal relationship healthy, but you will also be showing your children that it’s ok to disagree with someone as long as you are respectful and attentively listening to what the other party has to say.
Nobody said that parenting was easy, but you’re doing a great job! Keep these exercises in mind for the next time that you’re interacting with your partner around your children.
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