Focus on Your Marriage | Day Twenty-Seven

Happy children need parents who invest time in their relationship with each other.

It's a no-brainer, really, but I think we'd all agree -- it is one of the hardest things to do for our children. We go right back to Day Twelve {get your oxygen mask on first} for this discussion, with more of a focus on spouses. Whether you are married or not, it is important to realize that children really need us to focus on our other relationships too -- taking time for our friends, family and significant other.

It's easy to become all-consuming parents, but we hazard training them to be little suns, with all planets revolving around them.

Children need to realize that they are not the center of the universe.

Elizabeth Pantley writes an article on the importance of putting time and effort into your marriage relationship. She writes, "If your marriage is strong, your whole family will be strong; your life will be more peaceful, you'll be a better parent, and you'll, quite simply, have more fun in your life." Children need to feel the security of a stable home.

There are so many reasons to put effort into healthy relationships:
They are watching us -- they need to see public displays of affection -- we want them to grow up to have positive relationships -- we can set a good example for conflict resolution. 

I can definitely relate to David's words in his interview with Today's Parent about putting your marriage first. It's counter-intuitive. The pendulum is swinging. We want to protect our kids from all suffering. We think we need to play with them all the time. We can focus on our marriage later, after we've given our children their perfect childhood.

"In many families, it almost seems like we’re marrying our kids instead of our spouses. We think it’s a child-friendly, great way to go. But what we’re doing is escaping our relationships; relationships are hard, and it’s so easy to throw yourself into parenting instead." David Code, author of "To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First".

"It’s about building habits in your child that lead to self-reliance," David says. When you put your spouse first, giving your marriage relationship the time it needs to thrive, you are giving your child a gift -- they just might not realize it in the short term. They'll have to entertain themselves for a few minutes.

So, be creative. Maximize weekend nap time by spending quality time with your spouse. Enjoy each other's company while pushing the stroller around the block. Get an overnight babysitter and enjoy a night away together.

Spend time. Fight productively. Talk to each other. A lot. Show your children you love each other.

Because happy children need happy parents.

Have time to read more?? Here are some of the most helpful articles I have discovered:
10 Habits of Healthy Couples
5 Relationship Hurdles New Parents Face
5 Simple Sex Tips for Parents
How to Fight
Save Your Marriage While Raising a Compassionate Child
Surprising Findings on What Makes a Happy Stable Marriage

Click here to read the rest of the posts in the series, 31 Days to Happier Children.