Larry James' BLOG

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Got Kids?

Filed under: Relationships — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , ,

Raising children is one of the most rewarding and challenging undertakings a couple takes on. It takes a lot of energy and focus. Often there is a disconnect once the kids arrive. What began as a couple madly in love with one another gradually becomes a couple disengaged from the process of being a couple and diverting most of their energy to the children.

They begin to feel that their needs as an adult in an adult relationship are not being met. This usually results in tension and conflict manifested in either tense disagreements or withdrawal or a combination of both. I don’t know about you but I didn’t go to “Daddy School” to learn how to be a parent.

Never use your children as an excuse to not work on you or your relationship. While it is true that you have an awesome responsibility to care for your children, if you put them first and you last, I suggest that there may be some confusion about your priorities.

If you forget to take care of you, you are not leading by example. It’s important to be a good example for your kids. It’s important to have a “date night” and hire a trusted baby sitter to watch the children. This demonstrates to the children how a healthy love relationship works.

Remember to plan some fun time with the children. Look for opportunities to play with your kids daily. On a hot day, pick up some water balloons on the way home from work and start a water balloon fight. Get squirt guns to cool a hot summer evening. What will happen when you establish a spirit of play with your kids is that you will find that it will become much easier to talk with them. Play is also important because of what it can teach you about your children. If you want to know what they are thinking about, what interests or bothers them at any given moment, watch what they do when they play.

While I’m think about it, it’s important for the parents to play too. Read, “Kidding Around With Romance.”

You need to be supportive with your children but not intrusive; offer emotional support without being overly involved in their lives; and hope they make wise choices, while understanding that those choices are theirs to make. One of the hardest things for me was to trust my girls to make smart choices. I didn’t want them to get hurt. I learned very quickly to “let go” and teach them that although choice is God’s greatest gift, every choice had consequences. Some good and some not so good.

Don’t try so hard to be your child’s friend that you fail to set limits, protect your own integrity, and earn respect. Cultivate love, and earn respect.

Some will tell you to never air your disagreements in front of your kids. I disagree. Children are much smarter than we give them credit. They know when you have misunderstandings and arguments.

When your children witness an argument, reassure them that it is not their fault. Demonstrate to them that parents can be angry and still love each other while they are finding solutions to their problems. The skill of teaching fair fighting or at least keeping the decibels at a reasonable level when expressing your concerns is key.

However. . . “always” arguing and raising your voices in front of the children is inappropriate. Most high-level disagreements should be out of hearing range of the kids.

Strive for balance. Your home is a school. What are you teaching your children?

Read Larry Winget’s book, “Your Kids Are You’re Own Fault: A Guide for Raising Responsible, Productive Adults.”

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s books, “How to Really Love the One You’re With: Affirmative Guidelines for a Healthy Love Relationship,” “LoveNotes for Lovers: Words That Make Music for Two Hearts Dancing” and “Red Hot LoveNotes for Lovers.” Larry James is a professional speaker, author, relationship coach and a nondenominational minister. He performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere.

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  1. […] – take an art class, cooking lessons, etc 88. Leave a sweet comment on the Facebook wall 89. Teach your kids about marriage 90. Stop what you’re doing, look them in the eye and listen to their answer 91. […]

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