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Where Being A Good Spouse And Parent Converge

If you're married with kids, sometimes being a good, attentive spouse and being a good attentive parent are conflicting loyalties - we only have so much time and energy in a day. But in the spirit of "the way you do one thing is the way you do everything", here's where there is synergy in terms of actions and values.

    1. Be Specific in Praise

    "You look nice" and "Good job" are nice sentiments to express, but "Your hair looks so lustrous!" and "I love how you worked on that math independently" are better.

    2. Listen Well and Long

    Don't listen to speak your next answer. Really let both your spouse and your child get their entire story out. They may come up with their own solutions to their problems, or maybe they don't need a solution, just to be heard.

    3. Validate Their Feelings

    Similar to #2, having feelings be validated makes one feel loved.

    4. Show Affection

    A parental caregiver is an attractive mate, and showing affection to your mate models good relationship dynamics for children to emulate in their adult lives.

    5. Set Boundaries

    Both spouses and children can place demands on us and there are limits to what we can realistically or sustainably provide. We all have weaknesses and things that make us uncomfortable. Healthy relationships mean respecting those boundaries for others and setting our own.

    6. Ensure They Maintain/Develop Their Own Identities

    Similarly to #6 everyone needs a set of interests outside of the family to have a healthy sense of self.

    7. Keep A Sense Of Self

    Maintain your own identity outside of being a spouse or parent through hobbies and interests and/or outside friendships. You want your family to know who you are besides a caregiver.

    8. Me Time/Self Care

    Like on an airplane, you put your own oxygen mask first before aiding others. Taking care of yourself will ensure you're there for your loved ones.

    9. Date Night

    Spending one on one adult time keeps the adults connected. But connecting as individuals and being made to feel special is good for kids too.

    10. Health and Nutrition

    Feeding and nourishing your kids is fundamental, but allowing your spouse's health to deteriorate is a form of neglect.

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