In A Relationship, Should Kids Come First? This Marriage Counselor’s Advice Could Surprise You
~ JULY 2022 ~
When we invest in our Self–that is, in our growth, happiness, and purpose–we feel energized, which provides us with more to give to our relationship.
In turn, as we invest (constantly) in our Marriage, keeping our friendship and connection strong, this loving energy flows to our Kids directly through us.
Taking this idea a little deeper, according to the wisdom of Kabbalah, children and their parents share a soul-to-soul connection. As parents grow their unity and love together, the effect is quantum–their children benefit directly from this energy.
Furthermore, research strongly suggests that children are happier and more secure when raised by parents whose love for one another is strong compared to those raised in a loveless or conflictual environment. Children can sense when there is discord between parents, and unfortunately they tend to take responsibility for their parents’ distress and unhappiness.
Relationship researcher John Gottman, Ph.D, has observed how the stronger the relationship, the greater the benefit to the children. Happier couples are also happier people. Anyone who is a parent can appreciate how much better we all show up for our kids when we are in a good place.
In our own family dynamic–through simple, yet effortful changes–my husband and I saw for ourselves that sometimes good parenting meant putting our relationship first. This often felt counterintuitive, especially for me, but this new approach wouldn’t have worked so well if only one of us were on board for making each other more of a priority.
By allowing our energy to flow from Self → to Marriage → to Kids, we were not only happier and less exhausted, but we watched our daughter and son become more empowered and confident. They also approached us with more kindness and appreciation.
While our relationship is always a work in progress, we both agree that our priority pivot helped us provide a more stable foundation for our kids and a better example for lasting love.
A version of this article originally appeared here on mindbodygreen.com