10 Childhood Lessons For Your Marriage
It amazes me how hyper focused parents are (as they should be) on helping their children to become respectful, compassionate, and responsible people in the world, yet the adults don’t seem to be as hyper focused on their actions. That said, let’s look at 10 common lessons that (more or less) society teaches children, because your marriage will definitely benefit from these:
1. Say please and thank you – Yes…two of the most simple ways to show your appreciation toward someone. If you’re like me, you probably pound this into your kid every day but do you consistently show this kind of simple appreciation to your spouse?
2. Get to bed early – When a child doesn’t get enough sleep he or she becomes moody, whiny and may act completely out of control. That said, how do you think you are with your husband when you don’t get enough sleep? Get it??? It’s not rocket science here people…please get your sleep.
3. Use your words – When a kid hits because he’s angry or scared we call that “acting out your feelings.” The same thing applies when you start slamming the kitchen cabinets out of anger to get your husband’s attention. Yes my friend, it’s called being passive aggressive. Cut the crap and use your words.
4. Embrace people’s differences – When children are not threatened by people and situations that are different, he or she is able experience the world and relationships in a much healthier way. The same in your marriage: the more you are able to embrace your spouse’s differences, the more connective and satisfying your relationship will be.
5. The value of repair – Children tend to be black or white. Every now and then I hear a child say: I’m mad at him, so he’s not my friend anymore!! One of the most valuable lessons to teach a child is that people, friendships, relationships are flawed. People make mistakes and just because the actions of someone you love caused you to feel sad, mad, or greatly disappointed doesn’t mean that you just toss the relationship. This is key for your marriage: You will have many times where you feel sad, mad, disappointed beyond, etc. toward your husband but you need to learn to repair. Ruptures are a part of any relationship and unless you want to have a lonely marriage, then you must be willing to mend the rupture. Walking away from a rupture and avoiding it at all costs leaves you empty, but you can only gain when you focus on repairing.
6. Don’t just say you’re sorry…show it – I cringe when I see a child give an empty apology and sound like a careless robot. Yes…you too sound like a f*cking robot every time you say to your husband: Ohhhh…I did that? Well, I’m sorry. Uhhh…do you even know why you’re sorry?? Just as you teach your child to have compassion and show empathy, so should you. Put yourself in your spouse’s shoes and convey to him that you understand how your actions have affected him.
7. Don’t spend all day watching TV and/or playing video games – Kids today have a higher rate more than ever of obesity, depression, and anxiety. They are overstimulated and constantly seduced by today’s gadgets, computers, phones, videos, etc. which keep them from being outside and active and from actually spending quality one on one time with friends, family, etc. So make sure that you also monitor how much time you spend on Facebook, your blackberry or the iPhone thus creating a boundary between you and your husband from having any connective time.
8. Take turns – Just as you teach a child the concept of compromising, meeting in the middle, etc. the same goes for you in your marriage. If you want a healthy marriage you have to accept that it’s not always going to be about you and your needs 100% of the time.
9. Be kind with your words – Yup. Words can hurt not only in the playground but also in your marriage. Think before you talk.
10. Take responsibility for your actions – Honestly, this is the current lesson I am trying to shove down my 6 year old’s throat these days because if he doesn’t start learning how to be mindful of his actions sooner than later, lord only knows how he’ll be as a grown man in a relationship. In a marriage, everyone plays a part…everyone. So be smart and own your sh*t.
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