Children are a blessing that represent the laughter and intimacy of your relationship, they are a true gift from God. Ask any couple that has prayed or struggled to have children and they will confirm that every child is a miracle. The challenge of every couple is to still make their marriage a priority. Your children’s greatest need is to have a safe loving home. So often couples become so child focused that they forget each other. It is vital that you love each other well, especially in front of the children. You are modeling marriage to them, and you are creating their family of origin that will guide them and their future children. I know that sounds like a lot of pressure, but be intentional about your kids and your marriage. Research points out that martial satisfaction and enjoyment slip when kids come. If couples work at staying connected the enjoyment can return as the kids become more independent. Here are a some thing you can do to keep connection strong.
Children are a blessing
and a gift from the Lord – Psalms 127:3
For many families the holidays are about the wonder of a child enjoying Christmas. You must experience the wonder and mystery of the holiday season for yourself before you can give that to your children. The problem is that we try to create the perfect experience for our kids. The perfect gifts, tree and holiday cookies. Relax and enjoy the wonder not the gifts. More than anything your families needs time and experiences with you. Don’t live the holidays through your children, let them live the wonder through you instead. This means that you must relax and avoid the trap of becoming a helicopter parent. A helicopter parent is a parent who takes an overprotective or excessive interest in the life of their child or children. The goal is for your children to experience the wonder and joy of Christmas, that comes from the overflow of your heart, not gifts. Keep the wonder, beauty and mystery of Christmas alive in your heart.
So are you a helicopter parent? Here are some simple tests from author Lythcott-Haims:
It’s exciting to see children light up with the excitement and joy of Christmas. The light In a child’s eye is all it takes to make Christmas a magical time. What things can you do to create the memories of Christmas?
“Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before! What if Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. What if Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”
― Dr. Seuss, How the Grinch Stole Christmas!
Take a minute and think about the Christmases that you remember from your childhood. How many presents do you remember? I don’t remember that many presents, but I do remember the rituals and experiences that we had together. I remember ice skating and sledding with my family and friends. The stories and warmth of family time around the wonder of Christmas. These are the things I remember most and want to share with my own children. Several studies have pointed out that experiences together bring more happiness than possessions. Here are just a couple quick ideas that you can think about. Create experiences and joy with your kids. Remember you are creating their memories of Christmas.
“The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.”― Peggy O’Mara
This quote got me thinking. What does our children’s inner voice sound like? What does my inner voice sound like? My first reaction was to feel discouraged and beat myself up for all the things I had said and done in a negative, selfish or reactive way. Good indication what my inner voice sounds like. After I came back down from that negative reaction, trying to not feel defeated and inadequate, I tried to come up with some ways to be proactive. Below are just a few ideas.