You try to make your children’s lives happy and fulfilled. You want them to have the best education, the best doctors, and the safest environment. What you might not realize is how important your marriage is to shape your child’s life and how the healthy your marriage is the healthy your child can be overall.
The Impact of an Unhealthy Marriage
What happens when you have an unhealthy marriage? You either live in misery with each other or you end up in divorce. This can greatly impact your children physically, mentally, and emotionally. What all it can do to your children will surprise you.
1. Mental Health – More children that go through a parent’s divorce suffer from some kind of mental health problems. Therapy is increasing as the divorce rate increases. Mental health affects their physical health as well.
2. Emotional Health – Children who have divorced parents are more likely to struggle with relationships in general. They don’t have examples on how to work through problems or to be there for someone. They see only the pain of divorce and too often the ugly side of relationships.
3. Physical Health – As the mental and emotional health deteriorates, so does the physical health of a child. They might themselves be sick more often and more susceptible to viruses.
4. Social Health – All of this can take their toll on a child, which can be seen in how they interact with others and their grades. Low grades usually accompany children of divorced parents.
The Impact of a Healthy Marriage
A healthy marriage is an example set before a child. They see so many life lessons that they can use in their relationships, future marriage, jobs, and anywhere they have to deal with people. Face it, anytime you have another person involved there can be problems. A healthy marriage helps teach your child how to overcome those problems.
1. Mental Health – Children of healthier marriages tend to be more outgoing and happy. They look at life with a rosier disposition while not using rose-colored glasses. They learn to value themselves and others in the relationship.
2. Emotional Health – Once again, overall happiness is a sign. They learn that there can be moments of love, respect, and teamwork.
3. Physical Health – Children in healthy marriages have stronger immune systems. Research has shown that a happy disposition increases the body’s natural defenses.
4. Social Health – This sums it all up. As they watch their parents work through issues, they are learning skills which are very important to be used quite often. They learn to treat others with respect and to help those who need help.
Tips for a Healthy Marriage
1. Date Each Other – What was happening during your dating phase before marriage? You were getting to know each other, spent time together and grew closer. That shouldn’t end once the wedding vows are said and the children show up. In fact, it becomes more important. You still don’t know everything about each other. And you are nowhere near as close as you could be. Life gets in the way. Use dating to push it back out of the way.
2. Quality Time – That quality time can be found in your time dating, but don’t limit it to a dinner date. When your spouse runs an errand, ask to go with. Talk a walk before bed under the moon and discuss your day. Sit on the porch swing and just talk of future dreams. Watching a ballgame together can be quality time. Just be together and focus a little on each other and not the rest of the world.
3. Breathe before Speaking – When you’re married to someone, it is inevitable that tempers will rise. Let you child see you control it. Before you speak take off your spouse’s head and take deep breaths. Calm down. Let you temper cool while you form the right words that won’t haunt you later. Remember that you are training your child in every interaction with your spouse.
4. PDA – Yes, public displays of affection are important for a healthy marriage and a healthy child. No, I’m not saying to leave the bedroom door open. Quite the opposite. Keep it closed. But be affectionate in public. Hold hands. Give a kiss on the forehead as you walk by. Just touch him or her as you pass him or her from one room to another. An absentminded touch goes a long way. My toddler daughter is so embarrassed when we hold hands, but her friends from divorced families just love it. They don’t see love and affection between parents too often. In other words, flirt with each other.
5. Show Appreciation – Say thank you to your spouse. Give them a hug just for taking the trash out. For no reason but to say how much you appreciate them for being there for you and get them a card or a flower. Show them you care and that you don’t take them for granted. There are a million and one ways to do this. Let your child see this.
This is a guest post written by Amy Brown, an editor of Livesnet that was created to help parents find the right baby products for their children, while giving them advice on everything from pregnancy. Read her popular posts related to Britax Frontier 85 Combination Highback and the First Years Wave Stroller.