Be Worse Parents! Parenting is a great responsibility and a great joy, but it can also be a great dictator. Our lives are so inextricably linked with our children that it sometimes can be overwhelming emotionally. My most emotional moments and the majority or my rears were engendered by my kids. But my children eventually left home – can you imagine that? And my wife and I were the ones that remained. And the really interesting thing to me is that our relationship is still the backbone of our now extended family. The encouragement here is that you don’t focus so much on parenting that you forget that the most important relationship in your family is your marriage to your spouse. Some things to remember would be first that spousal love covers a multitude of parental sins. Kids are continually silently evaluating the health of their parents’ relationship not their parenting techniques! Second, parenting is best done as a team. I suppose this goes without saying, but couples violate this principle with regularity. A united front makes for a good marriage. Third, your children need to be allowed to make mistakes. School is the obvious example here. Undue pressure to perform many times produces results that are not only negative but can result in dysfunction. Fourth, let your children reap their own consequences in terms of the decisions they make. Too many parents run interference and absorb the negative results of their kid’s bad choices. So if you’re making your children the primary focus of your home, your marriage needs to undergo an upside-down makeover. Marriage comes first.
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