No one actively teaches us what is possibly the most important skill in life: how to have a loving and fulfilling relationship with another person. From a very early age children model their parents, so until they are old enough to develop their own map of the world, they will respond to the world as their parents do.
What we say to our kids and how we behave with them should help them grow into happy and secure adults and parents.
Here are the 10 most important feelings that our children need:
- Loved - unconditionally, no matter what
- Secure - that we are there for them, to protect them when needed
- Supported - to be the best version of themselves
- Boundaries - to know what acceptable behaviour is and what is not
- Growth - to continually develop to be even better
- Trust – to be able to predict what we will do and feel safe
- Communication – to be listened to and able to express their feelings
- Connection – to feel an important part of a family
- Commitment – parents are there for them
- Fun – to be able to have fun together
Kids often believe that their relationships will have to be like their parents’ relationship. So, if it is loving and harmonious, they are very fortunate and will carry that into their futures.
If it is unhappy and argumentative, they will carry that shadow with them because ‘that is how relationships are’… unless they can find a better model they can apply in their lives.
The relationship of a daughter with their Dad is hugely important for building their self-esteem, confidence and opinions of men. Their Dad will be held up as a role model for the whole male race! So, a Dad should be aware of this huge responsibility and that how he speaks to his partner will have a big impact on his daughter, her relationships with men and this will carry echoes into future generations.
How would a Dad like his daughter’s future partner and his son-in-law, to be treating her? Would he want them to be loving, considerate, gentle and supportive? If so, what words would he be using, how would he be speaking and would he be really listening too? Is the Dad acting in that way to her Mum or is he being bad tempered, shouting, complaining and not listening? His daughter will be picking up on how he is acting now.
If Dad speaks to Mum with love and consideration, he is creating that possibility for his daughter too. If he is failing to do that, maybe his daughter will believe that that is all she will deserve in her future relationships. So, Dad, if you want the best for your daughter, be the best you can be with her Mum.
About the Author
Neil Wilkie is a Relationship Expert, Psychotherapist, author of the Relationship Paradigm Series of Books and creator of the online therapy platform, The Relationship Paradigm®. Find out more at www.relationshipparadigm.com