We all want to be better parents to our kids. Somewhere in my mind’s eye is an image of the ideal parent – the one I aspire to be like – but when I compare our own parenting with that ideal, too often I fall short. To try harder and fail is too much of a risk sometimes, so instead I retreat into being “too busy” or “too tiered” to get on the floor and play.
So how do I become a better parent to my kids?
By being a better husband to my wife.
The better I am at loving my wife and showing my love through my actions and words, the better I become at loving my kids because I am allowing my love to flow more freely.
So how do you love your spouse more?
- Tell them you love them… LOTS! – We made a resove in our house that our kids would never question the love between their mom and dad. In doing so, our kids hear “I love you” 20-30 times a day.
- Kiss your spouse before you leave – the power of kiss before you leave for work, school, errands, or just going out, is very powerful connection that affirms your love for them.
- Always build them up – Joanne and I make it our mission to never tear each other down in any way. This can be a subtle thing, and perhaps because of my gender, I hear many wives cut their husbands down – not with an axe – but with 1000 tiny papercuts. These tiny digs about “never” doing something or “always” reacting in a certain way. Women, whenever you say anything that isn’t used to build up the character of your husband – especially when you’re out with ‘the girls’ – you drive a wedge between you and him. The same does go the other way with husbands and the premise is the same – always go out of your way to build up your spouse even when the topic is “rant-about-your-wife” in the locker room!
- Go out for coffee – This is one that I don’t do enough! Take the time out of your schedule, get a babysitter for an hour and go grab a Timmies with your spouse. Leave your cell phones at home and take some time to just talk. Oddly enough, it might be awkward at first because you don’t do it enough, but talk about your dreams, the future, what you want to accomplish and then spend some time listening to what they have to say – no interruptions.
Make the effort to be a better spouse and you will naturally find that you are being a better parent!