Strong Couples for Strong Kids

By Cameron Thompson

The Parenting Center Staff

Whether you are blissfully in love, committed to your long-term partner, or single and ready to mingle, we are all thinking about relationships. If you have children, consider starting a new tradition on Valentine’s Day and celebrate and share this holiday with your children as well.

As a parent, here are some tips of including your children on this Valentine’s Day:

  • Moms, consider taking your son on a “date” to teach them how to properly treat a lady. Remember the word chivalry? It doesn’t have to be a foreign concept for our youth boys. Have an open discussion and share with your son how important it is that women are to be valued and respected. Discuss about healthy boundaries and acceptable behavior in a romantic relationship. Moms you have a strong influence over your son and how you carry and present yourself, greatly affects how he views women.
  • Dads, consider taking your daughter on a “date” to show her how she should expect to be treated, like a lady. Girls, especially teenagers, need to feel empowered and know that a healthy relationship is free from hurt (emotionally and physically) and behaviors like that are unacceptable. It’s important that you and your daughter talk about healthy boundaries, realistic expectations from a romantic relationship, and self-respect that she needs to have. Dads, shower your daughter with love, appreciation, and respect and she will expect the same from her future partners.
  • The decorations, showering of gifts and affection can also include your kids! Bring out the markers, crayons, construction paper, stencils, and glitter. You’ve been warned, but the next few days you may have to explain to co-workers and friends why you’re shedding glitter and leaving a trail. Get creative! The family can write down positive affirmations to each other and these notes can be shared on Valentine’s Day or the days leading up to the holiday. What a great way to show your child(ren) how much you love them and encourage that feeling of being valued and worthy.

As parents, when we model a healthy relationship, effective communication skills, and problem solving techniques we are setting a great foundation for our children to see and model.

Let your children:

  • See you interact with your spouse and others in a positive way
  • See you resolve conflict in a positive way
  • See you make your marriage/relationship a priority
  • See you make them a priority
  • See you treat them and others with respect and appreciation…always
  • See you keep relationship safety a priority

We have an important role in our son’s and daughter’s lives to not only develop healthy relationships with others, but being a positive role model for our children. Take the opportunity on this Valentine’s Day to discuss with your children what a healthy relationship looks like so they can have many healthy and happy Valentine’s days to come.

-If you want more skills to strengthen YOUR relationship with an intimate partner, call the Empowering Families Project 817-632-5529.

-If you want a one-on-one session with a therapist about current/previous relationship(s), call the Clinical Scheduler at 817-632-5517

-To learn more tools for parenting your child(ren) visit us online at theparentingcenter.org

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