To nail parenting, you have to place your marriage before parenting.
Before the kids came along, it was just you and your spouse.
And guess what, when your kids are all grown up and move out…
It will once again, just be you and your spouse.
I know this sounds bizarre, but our children will grow up and start a family of their own. It’s our job as parents to show them what unity in marriage looks like. What love looks like. What a healthy argument sounds like. Most importantly, how to communicate with your spouse.
Our habits and our beliefs about love, trust, communication and even affection stems from our own parents. Like they say, parents are the first teachers a child has. Children are so observant to their surroundings since day one. They soon learn what mom and dads happy and mad voice sounds like, what triggers these emotions, how they react, etc. It soon becomes a “normal” thing. Possibly growing up doing these “normal” things because that is all that was seen growing up.
Marriage before parenting is like coaching without playing the game. Mom and dad have to learn to play on the same team before they can coach others efficiently. Can you imagine having two coaches arguing with one another, in front of the team as well as others. Just imagine how much this speaks for itself.
Good coaching is done behind closed doors. Behind closed doors, they communicate with goals, game plans, disagreements and most importantly solutions. You really need to stabilize the MARRIAGE before adding more people into the relationship, like children. Understanding this simple concept can help build a great team of parents to raising the little ones in the healthiest way possible. That’s the whole point. UNITY.
What I’m trying to point out is the team that makes up the parenting, which is your marriage.
Some marriages fail because of the lack of not being being able to play on a team. When I say team, I mean marriage. Some feel so in control that even when it comes to parenting, everything is their way. It’s their parenting skills or the high way. As you can see, this can cause major tension between not only the couple, but the children as well.
Another great way to look at it. Different perspective.
Our children is everything, they mean the world to us. But our job as parents is to raise them into great human beings. We can’t hold their hands forever. There comes a time where our parenting skills will speak for itself. They will no longer need us to guide them. Once all our chicks are out of the nest, making their own lives and building their own family. We will be back to square one, with our day one.
You teach them with your actions, not so much your words, but actions.
Love your partner. Invest time and love into your partner, especially if things are in a rough spot. Check out my love posts for some interesting topics. A family is much bigger than marriage. That’s why it’s important to get the marriage part down. Setting that rock hard foundation to build a strong and big family is a happy home.
It can be hard to change. But if you’re willing, you can start slowly by not arguing in front of the kids or coming up with solutions or meeting half way without the kids presence.
Written by Stephanie Coto
(this is an excerpt from a longer blog post, you can read the full version HERE)