A gift to your children
Aug. 19, 2013
by Jenni Sebora

Our family, which consists of my husband and I; our oldest, a 16-year old son; our middle child, a 13-year old daughter; and our youngest, a 9-year-old daughter, were traveling in our car together for, of course, back-to-school shopping.

We decided that we would try and all go as a family. We hadn’t done that for a few years, and knew that in just a couple of years, our family dynamic will change, as our son will be graduating and proceeding to the next phase of his life.

On the car ride, my husband turned to me and exclaimed his love for me as he does often, “You are my destiny,” (a line he heard from some movie, I’m sure).

All three of our children just looked at each other as they always do, thinking, “There he goes again,” and then I saw in the mirror that they were all smiling.

Yes, their parents are geeks, but they love each other, and even after 19 years married and 24 years together, they still proclaim their love and respect for each other.

It isn’t that we always agree, or we don’t have our squabbles and disagreements, or habits that get on each other’s nerves, but we do respect each other, love each other, and listen to one another.

The best gift that parents can give their children is to be kind to each other as spouses and partners.

Our kids are accessible; it can be easy to turn to them to vent about our spouse, but what we have to remember is that the spouse we are complaining about is their parent, someone they love. Children have the right to love both parents.

We have no right to speak meanly or complain about our spouse to our children.

Of course, even as much as we love our spouse, it does not mean they don’t do things that bother us. We are all human. We won’t always agree.

To disagree in a healthy manner in front of our kids can teach our children how to handle conflicts in a healthy manner. There should be no demeaning or belittling of each other. We should be choosy of what conflicts we try to resolve when our children are present.

We must remember our words and actions affect our children, and if we complain to them consistently about their other parent, we are instilling negative thoughts about a person that is at the helm of their safety and security net. If we don’t show respect to our spouse or the other parent, why would our children act any differently?

In fact, we should remember to show affection to our spouses in front of our children. They may be embarrassed temporarily, but those acts of kindness, love, and respect will make them feel safe and secure. They may roll their eyes, but their hearts will be smiling.

Turn to your spouse, and say “You are my destiny.” Those are magical words.

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