Parenting is never an easy job. Each day holds unique possibilities and challenges as your relationships with your children develop.
However, it’s your relationship with your partner that may have more influence on your parenting than you realize.
It’s important that you are aware of how the following aspects of your interactions influence the junior members of your family.
Consider how the following might be influencing your child’s ability to grow and succeed.
1. Do You Listen?
Do you truly listen and absorb what your partner is saying? Can you respond in a way that they feel heard and understood? Do you actually listen to them or do you retreat and avoid them? If the latter is true then you have some work to do. Everyone wants to be heard and understood. You especially want your children to witness a relationship that reflects good listening and engagement. Perhaps the single biggest thing that you can do to influence both of your relationships is to listen to your partner.
2. What Happens When You Are Angry?
Another thing to consider is what you do when you get angry. If you are angry with your partner, do you acknowledge the emotion while still communicating effectively with them? Or, do you blame your partner and tell them they are to blame? Of course, it’s easy to see how you can have the same kinds of interactions with your child, particularly as they get older.
It’s important to keep in mind that everyone gets angry. However, what you do with that anger is up to you. If you use it to verbally attack your partner or your child, the situation will never end well. You will likely end up alienating both.
3. Do You Take Responsibility for Your Actions?
Let’s say you do get into an argument with your partner. When it’s all said and done are you able to come back around and acknowledge your role in the argument? Do you take responsibility for your share in the argument and work with your partner to find a common solution?
Now imagine you are with your child and engage in an argument. Are you able to do the same with your child or not? Have you ever apologized to your child for getting into an argument? These are important considerations as your child gets older, starts to develop their own personality and a sense of independence.
4. How Do You Communicate?
Think about how you express yourself to your partner, especially your own needs. Do you make requests to your partner? For example, “Could you help me with the dishes?” Or, is your tendency to make demands? Nobody likes it when someone makes demands of them, in particular children. Over time, demanding things from your child takes its toll. Soon rebellion misunderstanding and arguments replace what could be genuine support, caring, and love.
5. How Do You Behave in Front of Your Child?
When you and your partner are together, consider how you both behave in front of your children. Do you demonstrate affection, consideration, and love? Does your child see you both sitting down and having genuine conversations? Are interested in what the other has to say? Keep in mind that children are very attentive and watchful. How you and your partner treat each other sends clear messages to your child. Over time, this will, influence how they communicate with others in their own lives.
As a parent, one of the greatest gifts that you can pass on to your child is how to communicate effectively. In turn, this helps them to form and maintain healthy relationships. By being attentive to your relationship with your partner you will find that your relationship with your child will grow and improve as well.
Are you interested in exploring your role as a partner and parent further? Please contact me for a complimentary consultation soon.