Herald Journal Columns
Jan. 16, 2006, Herald Journal

Parents’ relationship speaks volumes


Experts say one of the best gifts we can give our children is to have a good relationship with each other as parents and to demonstrate a healthy relationship in front of our children.

Even though kids, including my older children, will convey an audible disregard to parents’ outward displays of affection, it is important for them to see what a healthy relationship looks like between their parents.

Here are some simple ideas to share with your partner. My husband got these ideas from a community education/family education class that he took with our daughter.

Hold hands. Admit when you are wrong. Date once a week. Talk about dreams.

Give back rubs. Send a card for no reason. Start and end each day with a hug. Treat his or her friends and relatives with courtesy. Do it the other’s way.

Compliment your partner twice a day. Apologize. Show respect.

Call just to say, “I love you.” Wink at each other. Be positive.

Pray for one another. Laugh together. Cuddle. Celebrate. Forgive. Encourage.

Talk about your love. Reminisce. Touch. Smile often. Be kind. Seek outside help when you need it.

Dr. Phil recommends starting each day consciously thinking and asking oneself questions like these: “What can I do today to make my wife’s or husband’s day brighter? What can I do today to improve my marriage? What can I do today to brighten up my family’s life or improve our family unit?”

Wonderful questions and wonderful focuses for the day, and it is amazing what a simple gesture, such as an unexpected hug or a smile, can do for our loved ones.

Winter poetry

Here’s another winter poem I would like to share, “I Heard a Bird Sing,” written by Oliver Herford.

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December

A magical thing

And sweet to remember:

“We are nearer to Spring

Than we were in September,”

I heard a bird sing

In the dark of December.

A warm idea

Here’s a “warm” idea to inspire kids to get dressed in the morning

In the FamilyFun magazine, a mother shared her secret for prompting her kids to get dressed for school on those cold winter days: try putting their outfits, socks and all, in the dryer for a few minutes to warm them up. When she brings them up the stairs, she calls, “Get your hot, toasted clothes.” And they do.

A sock snowperson

On those really cold, bitter winter days, make some snow people inside, too.

Using white socks, string, markers and/or felt, stuffing and scissors, push the stuffing into a white sock to form the head of the snowman. Tightly tie a piece of string under the head to form the neck, and stuff the rest of the sock to form the body. Tie the bottom of the sock together tightly and trim off any leftover part of the sock.

Add on other features, such as the mouth, nose, and eyes with markers or cut-out felt pieces.


“Even though many children got lots of new toys for Christmas, the magic is still in the child’s mind, rather than in the toy.”

– Yi-Fu Tuan