By: Nancy Pina, Relationship Coach
Have you heard parents say in amazement, “I sound just like my Mom (or Dad)”!
The words that made them want to flee the room as a child seem to flow right out of their own mouths as parents.
Instinctively, kids can pinpoint hot spots and become the sandpaper to old hurts.
As a relationship coach, I believe preparation is key to teaching a better way. It is wise to address individual hot buttons early in love when looking ahead to marriage and raising a family.
Bringing those issues out into the open will reduce its emotional punch when those thorns rise to the surface through your future kids.
My experience shows that generational cycles grow stronger, not weaker in one’s children. We are all designed to find soul fulfillment in our sense of belonging, worthiness and competency. It is your ability as a future parent to have the capacity to communicate and instill this sense of wholeness.
You can read all kinds of parenting books, but without a solid foundation, you will be unable to write emotionally healthy scripts for them. What you will do is fall back on what is already programmed in your mind from your formative years. What is in your subconscious mind cannot be totally erased; but you can rewrite your truths to make those go-to reactions a distant memory.
As a couple, it is important to be united in the way to raise your family. Those communicated messages will have a huge influence on your kids future success, happiness and emotional stability.
The Better Way
Preparing to teach a better way starts with your relationship. Contrary to popular trends, kids are not the center of attention in the family unit. It is important to model the following in your relationship to build their character.
Practicing forgiveness: Learning how to resolve conflict without the drama of punishing each other with long silences and days of tension is paramount in teaching your kids a better way. If you work together to address the real source of disagreements and deepen your understanding of each other, you can show by example the path from conflict to understanding, resolution to deeper love.
Leading a disciplined life: Your children will learn reliability and dependability through your model as a couple. You do not lead an indulgent life in doing whatever you feel like at the moment. Spontaneity, entertainment and pleasure is balanced in a disciplined life, but those are not the primary drivers. Children need stability and structure over entertainment to feel safe and secure.
Wisdom rules, not emotions: People who experience drama more than routine are living by their emotions rather than wisdom. You may have days that you wake up feeling down or have a case of the “I don’t want to’s”, but those feelings do not have the power to rule your day. Preparing to make the most of each day and not allowing emotions to steer the course sends a powerful message that kids are not at the mercy of something as unreliable as emotions.
Mutually supportive: An encouraging word and a belief in each others dreams makes a big difference in reaching those goals. You should be each other’s best cheerleader; never demeaning in public or private.
An open heart: As a couple, you actively participate in life outside yourselves and immediate family. If a need is seen and the means is available, you take the steps to help. A warm and compassionate heart towards others teaches your kids a better way to look at life outside their natural focus of self.
Unconditional in love - mutually respectful: In your relationship, it is important to show love in the manner the other needs to receive that love. Learning how to express that love through open and honest communication shows an undeniable respect in your marriage.
The truth about committed relationships is recognizing that you will pass down to your future children the model you present to them. As a couple planning to marry and raise a family, your relationship will be the pattern for their lives. Breaking individual generational cycles will lead to teaching your kids a better way.
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Nancy Pina is a highly recognized author, relationship coach and speaker. She is dedicated to helping individuals attract emotionally healthy relationships. Visit this site for articles and exercises. Her recent book and App can be found here.