“Don’t worry that your children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you”. ~ Robert Fulghum
Truer words have never been spoken. Just last week, my husband called home. We were running around, so I put him on speakerphone. As I was rushing our kindergartener out the door to catch the bus, she briefly spoke to him and ended the conversation with her usual: “I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!” I abruptly yelled toward the phone and said: “Let me get her out to the bus…call ya back!” My daughter immediately looked up at me and said in a worried voice, “Wait! Mom, don’t YOU love him??? You didn’t SAY it!!” I was speechless. I said: “Honey I was in hurry. Of course I love him!”
I shared my daughter’s concern with my husband in brief conversation, but I really wanted to delve a little bit deeper. You see, for most of my life, I grew up in a single parent household with the closest example of what a healthy couple looked like being my adorable grandparents – who by the way have been married for 60 years! My husband and I discussed a while back that kids need to see us being affectionate towards one another and for us not to sneak kisses or use PDA discreetly, especially while we are in the comfort of our home.
What sparked the conversation back then was, as a newlywed, my husband smacked me on my butt in front of my then 5-year-old. I FREAKED OUT!! He told me to calm down and that it was just his way of being affectionate. Then it hit me (no pun intended), I remembered my grandfather doing the same thing to my grandma, so of course this was harmless. He said his dad did the same thing to his mom. And if I remember correctly, on Good Times, I remember that James Evans use to do the same thing to Florida a time or two! LOL
All in all, its equally important for our kids not only to feel like their parents are in a healthy relationship, but also to “see” it. When they are older, began to “talk” about quality traits to look for in a mate. Now that my husband and I have been reminded that we are on closed circuit TV and monitored carefully by our offspring, we can now “Keep Calm and Love Affectionately”. It was definitely a little eye-opener for us to behave and act accordingly. It’s also refreshing to know that my daughter, at age 5, knows that “I love you’s” should be exchanged frequently and to put us in check even if we didn’t know we needed it!
BMWK, are you on and your mate on your P’s and Q’s in front of your kids?
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