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A Parent's Template for Their Children's Future
Posted: 1/24/2014 | Parenting Comments
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Having children can be a glorious event and a great period in your life. At the same time it brings many changes to all of your relationships, including the one with your partner. Being a good parent is the most important job anyone can have and it’s incredibly demanding. In the beginning taking care of this very small person is completely consuming. Their needs become a parent’s number one, two, and three priority.

It’s important to spend time nurturing and bonding with your baby. Learning their different cries as their way to communicate, getting lost in their eyes, and becoming in-tune with this special person begins the journey in helping them grow up to have an inner sense of themselves and build a good life. This foundation helps them grow into an adult who knows themselves, can care for themselves, can feel loved and love others, can succeed, knows how to connect with themselves and others, and creates a safe and happy world for themselves.

This kind of intense connection needs to continue for a while as the baby grows into a young child. Many wonderful articles have been written about the need for early bonding and a secure attachment in order to create an emotionally healthy child. For a certain length of time this will be a parent’s first priority. After this developmental phase has taken place, which you can learn more about in childhood development books, then the parents need to turn more of their attention to strengthening their bond with each other.

So how do you take care of yourself, get more than a two second shower, be able to talk to a friend, and have a minute to think? How do you maintain an intimate and loving relationship with your partner once you start this wonderful family? These both can be challenging and even hard at times.

In a nutshell, this will happen through knowing how to skillfully and kindly give your children limits and boundaries. As well as the bonding, children begin to need boundaries and limits for their inner psychological development. You need to learn how to create them for yourself as well as for the peace and happiness of your relationship. Letting Jr. decide what he eats for dinner, when he goes to bed, and where he sleeps can wreak havoc in your life. Of course, as children get older they will need to have their ideas taken into consideration. If little Susie wants to wear the pink dress today and not the yellow one, that’s fine. But if it’s winter she will have to wear a coat, and we don’t wear PJs to school.

As a parent, one needs to balance the personal expression of a growing child with the realities of life. Helping them make choices, learn to entertain themselves, and problem solve, as well as how to listen to others, hear “no,” care and show kindness to others, plants, and animals, helps them grow into wonderful adults. These boundaries also help your relationship, as well, and help you keep your sanity.

With your partner it’s important to enjoy,
laugh, and show affection to one another, and not just toward the children, or the dog. Even if little Johnny doesn’t always like it when his parents hug, you can explain that you have love for each other and him and there is plenty of love and affection to go around. In the long run, tending to your partner relationship benefits your little ones and you. At some point, if you’ve done your job good-enough, Jr. grows up, leaves and begins his own family. Then, you’ll be left with each other. Make sure you’ve continued getting to know each other through the years, or when he leaves it could be a very difficult time.

When the children are old enough that a sitter or family member can watch them,
please give yourselves date nights for just the two of you. Do something you both love to do together. As you stay connected and appreciate each other, your children will see how to have a good and healthy marriage. Remember, this is the template for their future.

How have you bonded with your children?
How did you draw those limits and boundaries? Your comments make a difference for us all.


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