QuestionAs I watch family members and friends marry off children, I wonder if there’s anything I can do to prepare my children for this complex and often daunting stage of life. What values, ideas, and viewpoints can I instill in them now to better prepare them for the most important decision and relationship of their lives?
AnswerWhat a wonderful parent you are! I wish more parents would be so forward thinking and willing to do the work today that will powerfully affect their children’s relationship future.
Here are six points to consider:
- The Family Unit Crisis: More than a singles crisis, we have a breakdown of the family unit crisis. When children have been raised in a dissolved, toxic, or stressed marriage, they will likely have handicaps in communication, conflict resolution, dating, and social skills. They’re often drawn to recreate the familiar yet unhealthy relationship they saw at home. At times they are in so much pain that the very thought of marriage has awful connotations. Though they might be actively dating, they’re internally blocked to the possibility of sharing a life with someone else. The most important thing you can do for your children is to invest daily in a stable, loving, and supportive marriage!
- Children Do As We Do, Not As We Say: If we are not inherently honest, kind, slow to anger, and caring, our children won’t act that way just because we tell them to. We must constantly focus on our character development and personal growth. This will ensure positive patterning of the skills our children will rely on for all their relationships, and especially their marriages.
- Mindset: You can determine our child’s relationship mindset. What are you communicating? That marriage comes easy or that it’s worth heavy investment? Is career primary or is marriage/family most important? Do maturity and responsibility determine marriage readiness or is it a function of societal pressure? Is rejection acceptable? Mindsets are never cast, rather molded from early childhood and on.
More than a singles crisis, we have a breakdown of the family unit crisis. Children are often drawn to recreate the familiar yet unhealthy relationship they saw at home.