10 Ways Fathers Model Healthy Relationships for Their Children
We want to focus on fathers and how children learn about acceptable and unacceptable behavior in relationships by observing YOUR behavior. For fathers who may be divorced or no longer with their kids’ mother, the kids are always paying attention to how you talk to and about their mother as well as how you treat her in their presence. We all can agree that children are the greatest imitators, especially of their parents. How do we know? It shows when your child imitates your facial expressions, body movements, speech and tone or your personality!
Healthy relationships are not learned automatically. It has to be modeled within a positive environment in order to flourish. By teaching with your actions, your daughter will know how the man she comes to love should treat her and your son will know the proper way to treat the woman he loves.
Below are 10 suggestions to help fathers (and mothers) model healthy relationships for their children:
1. Cherish & Value their mother
Children value themselves and others more when they feel that their mother and father value one another.
2. Respect the Perspectives of Others
Show your children the importance of respecting the perspectives of people they love, even when they disagree with them.
Show how to participate willingly in work, problem-solving, or task-accomplishment even when you don’t get what you want.
Show your children how to work out solutions to problems respectfully with others.
Never stop trying to make things better.
6. Motivation to improve
Approach disagreements with the attitude of making them better, not worse.
7. Show Compassion
Compassion is an emotion that requires cultivation over time with every situation and person that you encounter on a day to day basis. This gut-level reaction to pain, discomfort, or anxiety includes sympathy, protectiveness, and willingness to help but not control others. Displaying compassion with your wife, shows your child that your wife is different from you, with her own temperament, set of experiences, beliefs, values, and preferences.
8. Good will
If children learn to have a positive attitude toward the people they love, this will greatly improve their chances of having good relationships as adults. Try to have good thoughts about your wife by giving her the benefit of a doubt.
Displaying affection towards your wife will help to make your children feel more secure in the family unit. Surprise her every once in a while with flowers, a favorite dessert, jewelry, greeting card or just a really nice kiss and hug!
10. Relationship investment
Successful relationships require investment. Relationships of any kind require hard word and sacrifice. Children need to see that you and your wife are putting in the effort to maintain a successful marriage and family unit by your actions and words. Teach your children to care about their family members and occasionally do nice things for one another.