Do you ever think about how to create little Valentines out of your children? What is it that will allow them to create a thriving loving relationship that enables them to go the very depths of their being and be vulnerable enough to share that with another person?
After being divorced and remarried, there was one thing that I wanted more than anything else – I wanted my children to be born into a happy marriage. A marriage where parents could communicate, problems were dealt with, love was displayed openly and comfortably and there was chemistry between the parents! I feel so grateful to have these things with my husband today.
When my husband and I first got married, I didn’t fully comprehend how much our behaviour and actions would influence our children. I understand that now and over time I also realised that it was my relationship-based decisions that enabled my current relationships to be happy and more importantly, set my children up to experience similar happy relationships.
My work as a coach has allowed me to connect with many mums so they too have a better understanding when it comes to the degree of influence a parent’s behaviour can have on their children. I have coached countless mums who have changed their own behaviour and gone on to influence their husband or partner to adjust their behavior, which has had a remarkable effect on the children.
As an example, Kate* and her husband would continuously argue about discipline until they got so frustrated with each other, one of them would walk away and the conflict would not be solved. Kate would often overhear the kids arguing with each other in a similar way. Since her coaching, Kate has learnt to lead the conversation in a different way and Kate’s husband has calmed down and is now able to rationalise the situation better. Because of this new approach, when Kate overhears the children disagreeing, she now hears a rational, more constructive approach to problem solving – remarkable!
In the field of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) we now know that our communication is made up of 7% words, 38% tonality and 55% physiology.
What this means is that we can tell the kids to stop shouting, or to behave themselves and they will hear the words to a certain degree (7%), however it is the tone of voice we use and what we are actually DOING that make up the other 93% of what they will “hear”.
So what has this got to do with creating little Valentines?
Well, your little ones will have an understanding about healthy happy relationships by seeing them in action. What you are doing and the way you are speaking to each other in your relationship will show them the way.
If you really want to step things up a notch this Valentine’s Day and show the kids what a great relationship is really made of, then here are a few little suggestions.
- Hold hands in the car.
- Sneak kisses in the kitchen when the kids aren’t looking (they usually find you!)
- Have a cuddle and a chat on the bed during the day (usually weekends).
- When kissing the kids goodnight, give the big kid (hubby) a big smooch too or as my 6 year old son calls it, “the marriage kiss”.
- Flirt with each other whilst preparing dinner.
- Send random text messages to say “I love you” and let the kids know what you’re doing.
These little things will ensure the overall relationship is working and sharing responsibilities, communicating the sweet and sours in your day and making time for each other semi-regularly will keep you on track. You’ll have little Valentines running around in no time at all!
What are the little things you do in your relationship that make the biggest difference when showing your kids what happy, healthy relationships are made of?
*Name has been changed to maintain privacy.