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Parents: Invest in your relationship
the days before having kids? No pressures; do what you want; just you and your
the children. Juggling schedules; competing demands for time; no privacy;
relationship stretched to the limit.
parents forget that in order to give to their kids, they must give to each other
first. When parents do give to each other first, it is as if they are recharging
their batteries so that they then have more energy to give to their children.
challenge for some couples is the belief that they cannot find either time or
someone to rely on for the care of the kids whist they have their time together.
being an elusive commodity, must be scheduled. Just as the kids activities are
scheduled and occur without interruption, so too must time for the parents. When
parental time is held as sacred as the time for the kidsí activities, then
time for parents is more likely to occur. For many parents the thought of taking
time can even be overwhelming. So if this is how it feels, parents are advised
to start slowly, maybe scheduling their time together at least once per month to
baby-sitting is a concern, parents can consider grandparents, aunts, uncles,
nieces, nephews, a responsible teenager and even a friend.
times parents can get creative about finding moments for each other. Rather than
weekends or evenings, perhaps there is time for breakfast out or even lunch
while the kids are in school.
money is an issue, parents can consider activities such as bike riding or going
for a walk together.
issue here is investing in the parental relationship. When parents donít take
time for themselves, they increase the risk of drifting apart, which in turn can
undermine their relationship Ė something definitely not in the kidsí best
bonds need to be as strong and secure as parent-child bonds. Parents who take
time for each other, have the opportunity to catch up with each other, reflect
on their personal and relationship needs and then those of the children. They
can keep the spark in the relationship and provide a great role model to their
children of how parents can get along. Investing in the parental relationship
also sets a boundary between parents and children. Children see their parents
are a unit and are less likely to be able to divide and conquer parents who are
close, loving and caring.
Want to help you kids? Make sure you top up the battery in the parental relationship so as the children draw on your energy, you have something to give and a way to recharge again.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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