No matter their age, children are observant. Even when we don’t think they are paying any attention to us, they are sponges of information, emotions, and behaviors. What they see, hear, feel, and experience during their formative years can inform how they think, act, and cope for the rest of their lives. This is why we worry so much as parents and why we wonder if we are doing right by them.
Modeling Healthy Relationships to Help Children Thrive
One of the ways that we can put our children in the best position to have healthy relationships in the future is to model healthy relationships with them now. We are all human beings with flaws, so this is easier said than done. Yet a mindful approach to how we treat our family and friends can go a long way.
Communication — Direct and clear communication with our friends and family models to children that it is ok to communicate clearly with you and with others. Instead of holding things back, passive-aggressiveness, or complacency, direct communication goes a long way toward demonstrating how a healthy relationship is supposed to work. Additionally, talking through conflicts is a fantastic way of showing how healthy conflict-resolution can propel a relationship forward.
Kindness — We want our children to be kind and this begins with how we conduct ourselves. If we treat others with meanness and judgment, this will transfer poorly to our kids. Instead, we should approach our friends and family with compassion and love.
Honesty — We don’t want our children to lie, which can be highly problematic in how they treat us and other people. Being honest is not always easy. However, honesty is a key part to clear communication and promotes healthy relationships.
Self-Respect — If you are in an emotionally or physically abusive relationship, your children can quickly learn that this is how relationships are supposed to work. In contrast, if you exhibit self-respect by getting help to end the abuse or to end the relationship, your children will better understand that this behavior is wrong, hurtful, dangerous and will not be tolerated.
Breaking Up — There is often sadness, dysfunction, and uncertainty that come with any breakup. Nevertheless, if you end a relationship with little to no drama and as much grace as you can muster, your children will not only witness how to end relationships in a healthy manner, but they will also witness resiliency and know that everything will be ok in times of sadness and uncertainty.
Let New Direction Family Law Assist You
New Direction Family Law provides high-quality family law representation to men and women in North Carolina. If you need advice or representation regarding an impending marriage, divorce, alimony, child support, or child custody issue, contact us. With decades of combined legal experience, our attorneys will provide you with smart, compassionate, and effective representation. We proudly serve women and men in Wake, Johnston, Durham, and surrounding counties. Contact New Direction Family Law at (919) 719-3470 to schedule an appointment, or visit us at our website.