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  • 5 Healthy Relationship Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids Through Your Marriage

    Your kids pick up on how you and your partner take care of your marriage.
    by Kate Borbon .
5 Healthy Relationship Lessons You Can Teach Your Kids Through Your Marriage
PHOTO BY iStock
  • Modeling is a powerful way to teach kids the behaviors we want them to practice in their lives; as psychologist Elizabeth R. Lombardo, Ph.D. tells Parents, modeling makes a big impact on children before they even understand verbal communication.

    This also applies to teaching kids about relationships. If you want to ensure that your kids engage in healthy relationships when they’re older, start showing them what a healthy relationship is now, using your marriage with your spouse as an example!

    Healthy relationship lessons to teach your kids

    1. Make time for each other.

    While it can be difficult for parents to include time with one another in their schedules, by putting in the effort to have alone time, you show your kids that you want to be together. Experts agree that building a strong marriage is a vital way to solidify both your relationship and your family.

    “The relationship you build with your partner creates the foundation for your family, so you want it to be a strong one,” Sheryl Kane, who heads parenting workshops, tells Parents. “You may think that your children will resent this time away from them, but when kids grow up knowing their parents love and make time for each other, it provides a sense of security that nothing else can."

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    2. Show affection.

    Don’t be afraid to do PDA in front of the kids: Today’s Parent says that it’s healthy for kids to witness their parents engage in expressions of affection since these show them how they might act in their future relationships. Just make sure to keep things PG!

    “By demonstrating appropriate, tender ways to be affectionate, we teach our children at a young age what is okay and what isn't — which is especially important when we aren't around,” psychiatrist Carole Lieberman tells Parents.

    3. Share responsibilities.

    It’s becoming more common for couples to divide responsibilities more evenly and without adhering to gendered stereotypes. The way you choose to assign (and finish) household tasks will teach your kids that whether you’re a man or a woman, you must pull your weight at home.

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    4. Argue well.

    While some say it’s better to keep your arguments out of your kids’ sight, experts also agree that kids have something to learn from seeing how their parents deal with disagreements, especially if these are handled maturely. This helps children learn how to solve disputes they deal with in the future.

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    Psychologist Carla Fry tells Today’s Parent, “Let your kids see you disagree without rage, name-calling, shaming or bringing up past problems. Throw in an apology or two and a hug at the end and it changes the whole relationship landscape for your kids.”

    5. Preserve your friendship.

    A lot has been said about preserving your romantic spark, but it’s just as important to take care of the friendship between you and your partner! Your kids will pick up on whether you enjoy being with each other — if you can laugh together, are comfortable with one another, and can treat each other kindly. This friendship can help carry you through even the toughest of times.

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