TV commercials are populated with junk foods and fast foods with little to no nutritional value. This constant viewing of advertisements increases the chance that children will beg their parents to buy these types of foods. Children who spend a lot of time watching television or surfing online are more likely to eat more, regardless if they are hungry or not. For parents, it is quite alarming because of the risks it may bring to their child’s health.
Parents are Sherlock Holmes in finding out children’s intelligence, gifts, and talents, not the school. They can take the role by acknowledging their child’s smallest abilities, asking other significant people who have close contact with their child, asking their child’s likes and dislikes, and finally, allowing their child to experiment by letting them explore things by their own. Of course, parents must be present on the days when their child is having his/her first-time experience with something. Being a talent detective will allow the parents to discover more hidden talents that they did not imagine that their child can do.
“Ideally, you as a parent can help your child find their way into a variety of interests that can potentially become a passion. If you see their eyes light up when doing a specific activity, then there’s a chance they may have found one, and now it’s time to develop it,” says Wendy Rice, PsyD.
Parenting has its ups and downs; either way, situations about childcare can affect a couple’s relationship in ways unimaginable, often for good, yet sometimes, for the bad.
Having kids is a wonderful addition to the family. However, nobody said how it would be challenging on people’s marriages the moment their children start to weigh in on their relationship to the point that partners no longer have time for themselves.
Although it is a common notion that inside the family, the children’s needs must come first, it is also essential that couples remind themselves that without a harmonious and robust relationship between them, a happy and loving environment will not exist. Making the bond a priority will not only reinforce a stable relationship between couples but also create a trusting relationship with their children.
How can you prioritize your marriage? By doing these simple steps in making sure that quality time is not taken for granted:
- Establish Rituals
Date nights during the weekends are often recommended to couples; however, this does not always work especially when you bring your kids with you. So aside from scheduling weekends for “couples time,” and wishing that it would be a successful event, consider establishing simple, romantic daily rituals. Say, for example, making each other’s favorite blend of coffee or talking about individual plans to start off the day. At night, talk about the entirety of the day before you both head off to sleep. Send funny or sweet texts even once a day to remind your partner that you are thinking of him or her despite the busy schedule.
“Couple-time rituals include recreational activities, communication times, and getaways you both enjoy. Here are some examples to get you thinking. A morning coffee ritual. A Saturday date night ritual. An exercise ritual. A little dance ritual. A daily expression of gratitude ritual. A final words, final moments, end-of-the-day ritual,” writes Mark Powell, D.Min.
Enjoy each other’s company, and as much as possible do not allow any types of interruptions when you’re together. Do not weaken your connection just because you are parents and have to deal with a lot of distressing situations in your lives.
- Always Be Grateful
Focusing on the negatives occurring inside and outside the house is easier than focusing on the positives, especially if your better half gets on your nerves when he or she fails to do tasks or obligations.
Though it’s hard to let go of errors, it’s more beneficial if both couples would instead focus on the things that they love about each other. Note the qualities that amaze and endear you to your significant other and always be generous when giving compliments. Be thankful for each other’s existence and the efforts made to keep the family intact. Focusing on the good things about each other and expressing it on a regular basis strengthens relationships and builds trust. Knowing that you appreciate and love each other is essential in every marriage.
“Instead of just waiting for the other person to make you feel good, you can jumpstart that cycle and take it into your own hands by focusing on what’s good in your relationship,” says Dr. Amie Gordon, a psychologist from U.C. Berkeley
- Support Each Other All The Way
Looking after your children should not be the focus of your entire existence; you are still individuals who yearn to do recreational activities that boost personality and character. If your partner has found something he or she enjoys, give your full support. If your partner wants to enroll in a dance class, don’t stop him or her. This show of support is just one of the few things that would remind your partner how much their individuality means to you.
“Ask how you can help – don’t assume you know what to do. Afterward, talk about what worked and what didn’t and adjust accordingly,” writes Joni E Johnston, Psy.D.
Remember that it’s vital for couples to spend time romantically together. Do not lose sight of the reasons why you are together and what made you love each other. Besides, the children wouldn’t mind if their parents would go out on dates and rekindle the flames of their relationship.
Quarrels and misunderstanding are inevitable in all relationships. Being tied to one another, seeing each other every day, experiencing stressors in life and with children, could further escalate instances of dispute within a union.
The Bad Side Of Conflict
Although it is normal between married couples to lose their cool at one another for whatever issues that may arise, they should remember that amid the bickering and yelling, some innocent eyes and ears witness and absorb every word and action spewed to each other.
Be wary that your children are sensitive when it comes to seeing their parents argue and the more they get exposed to these kinds of struggle within their homes, the more they become negatively affected.
How do marriage confrontations in front of children affect them?
- Development Of Mental Illnesses
Witnessing continuous discord accompanied by screaming and cursing can pose long-term destructive effects on your children’s mental health. Development of mental issues like depression, anxiety, low self-esteem and self-confidence, anger, fear, and even sleeping difficulties may occur. Marilyn Wedge Ph.D. says that “For years I’ve found in clinical experience that the number one cause of children’s psychological problems (apart from severe abuse and neglect) is parents having arguments in front of their kids.”
- Guilt Feeling
There are two ways that children can feel guilty when their parents fight: that they are the cause of why they argue all the time or which side they have to take. Both are incredibly traumatic and damaging to kids. The feeling of being at fault for the discord happening inside the house is a tragic realization that would be imprinted in the minds of your children. On the other hand, having the feeling of taking sides can be confusing and chaotic. Asking children to choose can result in more harmful results like parental alienation.
- Treacherous Terrain
Homes are supposed to be loving and comforting; this provides children a safe impression. However, due to constant quarrels, this safety feeling is threatened, and children now perceive their homes as a treacherous environment that is a source of stress and burden. “Research confirms what any child can tell you, which is that it’s frightening when adults yell at each other. After all, parents are the child’s source of security. When parents seem out of control, the world becomes a scary place.” explains Laura Markham Ph.D. Because children wanted to avoid witnessing their daily dose of parental dissonance, they would be involved with the bad company and will engage in illicit habits.
- Distrust With Parents
Children paint pictures of parents as role models or heroes. However, seeing their primary source of happiness and inspiration experience a tumultuous connection drastically changes children’s perception of who their parents are. This realization could lead to your children to creating a massive barrier because of fear and emotional suffering that could eventually cause distrust and dishonesty.
“The marriage that kids see at home gives them a lasting impression of how relationships are supposed to work. If your child sees you and your husband fighting on a regular basis, this will be the type of relationship that she will be unconsciously drawn to in the future.” emphasized Dr. Samantha Rodman, clinical psychologist and founder of DrPsychMom.com.
The Good Side Of Conflict
Conflicts create a more mature version of oneself which can also lead to garnering a certain degree of boldness and strength; this is true with marriages and especially with kids witnessing parental disharmony. Though it is already established that fighting in front of kids can result in adverse repercussions, there can be a positive side to it.
Research suggests that for as long as parental discord does not threaten children’s emotional security, settling disputes in front of kids is beneficial and becomes a learning process. This eventually helps kids grow up to become better observers, thinkers, and decision-makers. Responsible parenting calls for parents being assertive in clarifying what the argument is all about and showing their kids that, at the end of the day, problems can be resolved.
When parents who argue are aware on how to constructively present their issues with their children, when the reason behind the arguments are adequately explained, it would eventually lead to their kids figuring out a positive coping mechanism and would create a better understanding of the conflict. This would make children wiser and smarter when dealing with future disagreements not only inside the home but also when they grow up and start to mingle with other people and have their relationships.
How do couples rekindle their marriage that is slowly collapsing due to magnanimous responsibilities brought about by parenting?
“Kids whose parents’ relationship has cooled are more likely to have behavioral or academic problems than kids of happy couples,” shares Philip Cowan, PhD, a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who studied families for decades.
Taken For Granted
On top of the 40-day work week, commitments with other people, bills to pay, and responsibilities to carry out as adults, couples also have that one particular job that they are tied to for the rest of their lives – being parents. Parenthood is a 24/7 obligation that couples can’t just set aside, which is why a lot of marriages suffer and deteriorate.
Keeping The Fire Alive
Through the dramatic changes in their relationship, couples must find a way to reignite their flailing marriage that’s primarily caused by life’s daily stressors. Couples must remember that marriage is the essential foundation that maintains a stable family structure. Weakening marriage bonds will create discord within the unit; for this reason, couples should not disregard their relationship for the sake of a peaceful, happy, and satisfied family.
How does one keep the fire of marriage burning?
- Stop Focusing On The Negatives
“Most couples hope to keep the fires of romance burning forever,” notes Tina B. Tessina, PhD, author of How To Be Happy Partners. She adds, “The antidote is having well-established guidelines for spending intimate time together.”
When people are stressed out, it’s not hard to find fault in everything, no matter how trivial the subject is. Instead of focusing on the smallest details that trigger you about each other, try to divert your thoughts on what made you love your partner in the first place.
Aim your attention at the fine qualities that the both of you have which made you love each other in the first place. Practice overlooking the bad in one another. It’s stressful enough to deal with the inconveniences of life; therefore, making a habit of ignoring what you hate about your partner and just finding positive things that can lighten up the day is more beneficial to your dwindling connection.
- Commit To A Time-Off
One can’t deny the weight that parenting can contribute to a marriage. The hardships and struggles are what make families stronger. But just because you have devoted your life to being parents that do not mean that you would forget your commitment to your partner. To maintain a healthy marriage, couples must always set aside time to focus on their relationship. For example, they can take time off and go on a trip together without bringing their children, or you can go on a dinner date in a fancy restaurant. Take a breather. A quick getaway is significantly beneficial to revive romance or patch up any conflicts.
- Generously Compliment Each Other
A little compliment won’t hurt. In fact, praises can quickly brighten up someone’s day and if that someone is your better-half, might as well muster a couple of compliments before the both of you start your day. In a world that’s filled with ignored kindness, it’s nice to know that the one you love notices the goodness in you.
Giving out compliments is not difficult; you can tell your spouse how the prepared breakfast was excellent, or how beautiful his or her features are. Compliments are such a powerful tool to remind your partner that they matter and that you notice their presence and importance.
“If you say, ‘the landscaping you did looks great and makes me feel really at peace in our home,’ your partner will have a completely different reaction than if you just say that you like the landscaping work,” discusses Joshua Klapow, PhD, a licensed clinical psychologist in Birmingham, Alabama. “Sharing the emotion behind the compliment adds a more intense personal connection.”
The secret to keeping the bond alive is always to be there – talking and listening. If you wanted to maintain a steady and secure relationship, you’d do what it takes to make the necessary adjustments and actions that are required from you as a partner. Yes, parenting is hard. But it can be much easier if you have an established marriage instead of a broken one.
No time, energy, money, and intimacy – these are just some of the elements that are lost or taken for granted the moment a child is born. While it’s a child’s presence that makes a family grow strong, it’s also a cause for disagreement.
Do you just wake up and realize that a lot of things happened and changed the moment your baby was born? Little things like not making the bed, burping after meals, leaving crumbs on the couch, failing to do the laundry, even laughing out loud, these small factors sometimes become so magnified that calling your partner out for these habits can escalate into full-blown arguments. These are quite typical occurrences especially if you’re the one who’s always left inside the house to nurse the baby and do the chores.
Deciding to have a baby after months or years of marriage is a big leap for couples that, if they are not prepared or educated enough for future possibilities and conflicts, will create a huge rift in their relationship.
Woes And Solutions
Having a baby is a beautiful addition to married life; therefore to thoroughly enjoy the merits of being married to the one you love and having a baby, here are some of the difficulties that you can expect once your child is born and the possible solutions.
- Equality In Doing Chores
Both of you are in it for the long run, that would include dividing chores and responsibilities inside the house. Just because one is bringing home the bacon, doesn’t mean the other is just slacking on house duties all day. Couples have to recognize that having a baby is like having a job – both requires undivided time and attention. Therefore, as loathsome as it may seem, household chores must be equally divided between couples. The best way to resolve who’s going to work on what is to post a “To Do” list to settle and manage responsibilities inside the house once and for all. No buts, no ifs, just do what you’re supposed to do.
“It is important to lay out the tasks that must be taken care of, and decide who will handle what. Sure, there will be times in which responsibilities may change or get redistributed, but having a clear framework from the start is beneficial,” writes Marisa T. Cohen, Ph.D., CPLC
- Intimacy Moments
Just because there’s a baby involved, doesn’t mean that you can’t set aside a specific portion of your time to get the romance going. Although sometimes, when life and obligations get in the way, the least that you can do is to have a healthy conversation to be updated on each other’s day while the night drifts away. You can also go on day trips together with the baby, or you can hire a sitter or leave the baby with the grandparents so that you can have some alone time together.
- Styles Of Parenting
Eventually, there will be disagreements regarding the style of parenting. A clash of opinions and beliefs on how to raise or nurture a child is a common parental issue that’s experienced by most parents. Styles may heavily rely on how the parents were raised by their parents that are usually based on traditions, cultures, philosophies, and religion. To manage ordeals in parenting style, couples must first talk about what their strategies are for taking care of their baby, and which is more favorable and agreeable for both sides.
“It’s not just the activity that matters, but whether two people are able to bond while interacting with one another,” writes Preston Ni, M.S.B.A.
Money is the root of the majority of couple’s arguments and having a baby is undoubtedly a costly milestone in a couple’s life; which is why it is for the relationship’s welfare that married couples prepare for the never-ending expenses the moment the baby comes out. Only then will parents be more focused on taking care of their baby and not be occupied by the constant bickering related to financial setbacks.
“Be realistic about what you can afford,” write Rob Pascale and Lou Primavera, Ph.D.
Parenthood is a rewarding turning point in any relationship; therefore, couples must treat it like they would treat a business deal which requires optimum planning and conditioning. It is easier for married couples to deal with parenting disputes if they are primarily aware of the circumstances that may occur in the future.
Probably one of the terrifying realizations that parents have to find out about their teens is when they are intentionally hurting themselves through cutting.
Sadly, cutting in teens is common these days; experts are calling it self-injury. Scratching or cutting the skin using anything that could make the surface bleed, such as razors or cutters, are some of the ways self-injury occurs. Other more severe means of self-injury are hitting or burning.
Why Parents’ Reaction Matters
Discovering that your teens or children are cutting can leave parents extremely worried, scared, and even enraged. Though these emotions are natural reactions, the most important thing that parents have to avoid is to be judgmental of their child. Instead of being judgmental, try to be more understanding and know the reason behind the act. But first, parents have to calm themselves down if they want to have a meaningful and relaxing conversation with their children.
“Prevention, intervention and treatment require families, peers, and systems to work collectively to put programs and practices in place that bolster the community’s ability to identify and screen higher risk youth but also to prevent and intervene when warning signs are noticed in any students.” says Janis Whitlock, MPH, Ph.D., and Elizabeth Lloyd-Richardson, Ph.D.
When conversing with your teen about the reasons why he or she did it, the first thing that you have to consider is that your child is going through pain and suffering, internally and externally. So you asking your teens a lot of questions and making them stop the act without listening to the reasons behind it can make your children feel ashamed and can only worsen the situation. Assure your teens that you’re there to listen, understand, and help because admittedly, there were instances when they wanted to stop cutting, but they didn’t know-how.
The Reason For Self-Injury
Teens that cut or intentionally hurt themselves have a number of reasons why they do it. But usually, the primary intentions for self-injury are:
- To provide a distraction from the severe emotional pain experienced.
- To feel something, because teens feel nothing or are dead inside.
- To non-verbally communicate their unhappiness to stressful
Cutting is such a perplexing behavior for it can serve a lot of different purposes for one teen at different times. Whatever your teens’ reasons are for self-injury, it develops a destructive way of coping and managing problems in life.
Erin Leonard Ph.D. explained that “the activities that, in the past, allowed children and adolescents the opportunities to reduce their anxiety have diminished from their current routines. Top it off with the developmental difficulties of adolescence, and the perfect storm begins to brew.”
No matter how disturbing or troubling the idea is to parents, cutting provides some sort of temporary diversion or relief from the problems their kids are facing. However, the act does not solve their issues and instead increases the risk for further medical problems.
Cutting Is Like A Drug
Cutting is addictive. The more your teens realize that self-injury is a solution to their grievances, the more they’ll do the deed. Repetition happens due to the temporary relieving effect teens feel whenever they cut, which they want to feel again whenever they encounter complications in their lives. Self-injury then becomes an addiction. Therefore, immediate treatment is required.
Common Reasons For Self-Injury
Self-injury can be a product of culminating internal or external problems. Still, the scenario and reasons behind cutting can be due to several things, such as:
- Mental illnesses like anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder
- Very low self-confidence and self-esteem
- Physical or sexual abuse
- Feeling alone and rejected
- Perfectionism usually coming from parents
- Recurrent conflicts with family and friends
- Impulsive tendencies or being risk-takers
Seeking Professional Help
Once parents have evaluated their teens by calmly talking to them and finding out the explanation of why they did such a horrible act, parents must suggest treatment options. There are tons of ways to help your teens that can be provided by a therapist; often, these treatments would involve psychotherapy, family therapy, and medications.
Breaking the chain of cutting is difficult and challenging for your teens, which is why as parents it would help their condition if you show empathy to what they are going through, along with acceptance and unconditional love.
“Many who self-injure are reluctant to give up doing so, because it is such a powerful way to relieve negative emotion. For them, it is a primary tool for dealing with stress and upsetting situations, and they feel like they will be helpless without it.” Edward A. Selby Ph.D. emphasized.
If you raise a spoiled child, both of you will reap the consequences in the long run.
Parents listen up; spoiling your child is not healthy. If one day you end up asking yourself questions like, “Where did I go wrong?” followed by, “I gave you everything you need and want.” Well, you just answered your question. Love does not mean you have to give your kids everything they want just because they throw tantrums at you or whines every minute of the day.
When parents mix social media and parents, things tend to get pretty messed up. Admit it, showing pictures and videos of a happy family on social media just to get views and comments can sometimes have ill effects on any or all members of the family.