Two Partners in Marriage = Two Parents
In many marriages, one spouse does the lion’s share of the work in parenting the children. Your kids are the most important job you have as a couple. Parents have the responsibility of ensuring their children turn out to be solid, upstanding, productive people.
A wedding ring does not magically make a couple happy, stable, and child ready. Raising a child is not just providing the income to feed and clothe your children. Children require a solid, intact family structure and positive parenting behaviors to have positive impact on their present and future wellbeing. Parenting is a 24-hour endeavor that takes work from both partners.
How is your parenting going?
Are you leaving the heavy lifting to your spouse?
Do you expect your spouse to meet the kids’ physical, emotional, and spiritual needs?
In a marriage, both parents need to pool their time, money and energy and make their children more of the focus of their home. If you are not used to being the one that tends to the children, start by asking your spouse, “How can I help?” When you get home from work, take some time to decompress and then offer to:
- Entertain the kids while dinner cooks, or
- Takeover “bath time” with the kids, or
- Help the kids with homework.
Both parents can bond with each other and the kids by:
- Teaching your kids household chores like making beds, folding laundry, picking up and putting away toys, taking out trash, washing dishes.
- Family yard work like raking leaves, pulling weeds, or planting or watering flowers.
- Playing games, sports, on playgrounds
- Working together in community projects
- Reading stories at bedtime
How much time do you spend with your kids?
Parenting does not come with a handbook. You don’t require special training. However, you may not know where to start. Most parenting behaviors are intuitive. Children do best in a stable family environment where well-adjusted parents have established consistent routines for the home. Think about what you wanted from your parents when you were a child.
- Unconditional Love. Children need to know that you love each other, and you love them no matter what the circumstances are. You children are watching how you treat your spouse and will someday model that same behavior in their relationships. Do openly hug and kiss? Do you speak affectionately to your spouse? Children need frequent hugs, kisses, and words of encouragement also.
- Talk with Your Kids. You can learn a lot about your child by spending time in conversation with them. Ask them questions on their level. What did you do today? How did your day at school go? What is your favorite princess? Who is your favorite superhero? Not only will you learn what your child is interested in, you will likely be entertained. “Dad, did you know they have lions, tigers, and “Pippohotamuses” at the zoo?”
- Teaching basic life skills. Children are not born knowing how to eat properly, clean their clothes, clean up their rooms, do their homework, and help around the house. It is the parent’s job to train and teach their children. Parents model and talk to their children about appropriate life skills. “Hold you fork lie a big boy.” “Hey, come and help me take out the trash.” “I want to show you how to wash dishes so you can start helping out around the house.”
- Get actively involved with your kids. Get involved in community activities such as soccer, cheerleading, gymnastics, or other sports, Take part in academic science fairs, debate clubs, or international days in local schools and other academic institutions. Volunteer for family projects to help the needy in the community. Remember that adage, “the family that plays together, stays together?” It’s true.
Overall, intact families, where both spouses share the parenting, tend to be more stable. Parents tend to be more involved in their children’s lives and are more highly invested in their children’s success.Sign up for a free trial of the Marriage In A Box online tracking tool!