Your Kids Are Always Watching You

I probably owe this one to my mother. If I haven’t said thank you enough Mom… let me do it here, publicly. Thank you.

My mom was very intentional about teaching me to respect women. I remember she talked about it often. My dad played a role here too. It wasn’t what he said- but it was his actions.

We are getting ready for Valentine’s Day. What a great time to make a plan to intentionally connect with your spouse. And to show your kiddos that THIS is the most important relationship in the household. I love my kids.  But I didn’t marry them. I married Lisa. We figured out long ago, that if we weren’t aligned, then our kids would expose every one of our weaknesses. Because that’s the thing. The kids did expose every weakness my marriage had. That’s why it was so important for Lisa and I to WORK on our relationship. We had to decide, what do we want our kids to see?

For us, it is about…

  1. Authenticity
  2. Love First
  3. We Before Me

Which are buzzwords in D2D that mean be real, love and respect each other. That’s it. Very simple… but not easy. Authenticity with us means, yeah, we might fight in front of our kids. We don’t always behave perfectly. We screw lots of things up. When we started this program we didn’t have a clue what to do… and sometimes we still don’t… but we are trying. And I think that is important for our kids to see as well. That we are not perfect. We don’t have all the answers. That we do fight. But we also wanted them to see that fighting doesn’t have to be unfair. It doesn’t have to include stripping the other person of their dignity. It doesn’t have to include name calling and bringing up the past and using it against each other. Which leads us to the other two… love and respect. If we can remember that we love and respect each other even when we are fighting… I don’t know, it just feels different. We haven’t always been great at this…. and we still fall down… but it really does seem like we are making progress. And I think it is because we know we have 5 sets of eyeballs on us at all times, and we want them to be able to have healthy conflicts… not just backbiting combat.

So for Valentine’s day, we are going out! Who’s watching the kids? I dunno? Maybe we can duct tape them to a chair and leave a few boxes of popsicles… haha!!! (I seriously don’t ask because I am afraid that I will have to come up with a solution.) But I am NOT going to take my children’s mother for granted. And I am not going to see her as the house mom that has done 32 loads of laundry, 17 loads of dishes and 3 trips to the grocery store by mid-week. I am going to see her as the woman I fell in love with… over and over again. Because I want my kids to aspire to have a spouse that makes them better.

There is kind of a sweet saying in our household.  When the kids really want something they go to Lisa and say… “Mom—can you ask Dad if we can XYZ?” Lisa will say, “Ask him yourself.” And they reply, “But he NEVER tells you no!” It’s not entirely true. But it is still really neat that they think Lisa cannot ever get a negative response from me when it’s really on the line. It goes both ways too. Lisa is always so grateful and selfless.  The kids are always saying, “Geez Dad… you really lucked out with Mom… what would you do if she wasn’t here to take care of you??”

So what does all this mean? I’m not sure. I think it means, what are you doing intentionally to connect with your spouse? Because your children are watching. And their future relationships are depending on you to show them the way. Step up. Connect. BE INTENTIONAL. And have some fun!

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