Kids are always watching and listening. They are like sponges, constantly absorbing their parents’ behaviour. Children look up to their parents and tend to consider the behaviour they see at home as normal. Thus, the way you interact with your partner makes a subtle yet long-lasting impression on your child’s personality and outlook towards life – especially in the way he views the concept of love.
How Your Marital Relationship is Shaping Your Child’s Upbringing
While some people are comfortable displaying their love and affection for their partner in front of their in-laws and children, others might be embarrassed by the same idea. By watching their parents, toddlers grow up to be like their first teachers – yes, their parents! Here are different aspects of love and relationships that a child can learn from his parents.
1. Display of Affection
In some families, it’s normal to hug and initiate other forms of physical touch openly. Children who grow up in such families may, therefore, be very open-minded about displaying gestures of love and can easily get along with their friends.
Those who grow up in conservative households are likely to have a tough time expressing their emotions without feeling shy.
Parents who argue loudly, scream, and throw things at each other might be teaching their child that such aggressive gestures are a good way of expressing love.
Whereas if a child sees his parents forgiving each other for their actions, he is likely to value his relationships and apologise when he’s wrong.
If both partners are interested in knowing how the other’s day went, a child understands that for love to grow, communication is essential. He then tends to become more communicative, polite, and honest.
In case there’s a lack of communication between both parents, the child may not understand how important it is to voice their feelings and may grow up hesitating to express his feelings to his partner or friends.
4. Respect and Support
If the parents show respect and are supportive of each other, the child may realise that with love comes respect.
However, if a partner is always seeking to change the other’s behaviour, he may find it difficult to develop love for people as they are, and will always find faults in them.
5. Physical and Emotional Proximity
If both partners occasionally give priority to some ’me-time’, the child is likely to understand that love doesn’t weaken if two individuals spend some time away from each other.
On the flip side, if parents always feel the need to do things with each other and spend less time with their friends (and other people in their respective lives), the child may grow up to feel that physical proximity is necessary for love to exist.
If you express mutual trust in your marital relationship, the child will pick up on it and find it easy to trust people without overthinking and being afraid.
On the other hand, a child who feels his parents don’t enjoy a stable relationship may think – “Everybody is bad!”, and grow up with the need to hide things from his partner, which is a sign of a doomed relationship.
7. Sharing and Teamwork
Some families don’t consider it okay for the male partner to share the household work and might frown upon such behaviour. Accordingly, the child may learn that his ego is more important than love.
On the other hand, parents who share household chores might be sending out a powerful message of equality. This doesn’t just go for household chores; both partners must express respect for each other’s duties and daily tasks, and help each other out as much as possible.
As the saying goes, “A child learns from who you are rather than what you teach.” His personality gets shaped by seeing how his parents behave with each other. Your child is a reflection of you and your partner; make sure you are the right mirror.
Role of Parents in Early Childhood Development
The Family’s Role in a Child’s Development
Life Lessons and Values to Teach Your Child