7 Ways to Show Your Kids How to Engage in Healthy Relationships

This is one of my favourite quotes…

Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you. – Robert Fulghum

It’s human nature for your toddler to learn life skills by mimicking your behaviour. And as your kids get older the behaviours they mimic on a regular basis will likely become life long habits.

This makes modelling a positive attitude, proper manners and being respectful to friends and family extremely important.

You can preach to your kids all day long about the importance of saying “please and thank you”, apologizing for mistakes, and being sensitive to their siblings feelings; but unless they see you putting these actions into practice, the behaviour won’t stick.

One of the most important skills your child needs to learn is how to engage in healthy relationships; and the most influential role model is you and your spouse (or in some cases another primary caregiver).

Showing affection for your spouse in front of your kids is the #1 way to teach what a healthy relationship looks like.

Here are 7 easy ways to show g-rated affection to your spouse:

  1. spontaneous kiss or big bear hug.
  2. say “I love you” to your spouse when your kids are watching.
  3. prepare their favourite meal or dessert.
  4. leave a love note on the fridge or bathroom mirror.
  5. give an unexpected foot or back massage.
  6. snuggle up together on the sofa when you’re watching T.V.
  7. holding hands when you are out for a walk.

If you want your kids to respect themselves enough to only engage in healthy relationships; it’s up up to you to set the foundation.

In the comments below, tell me YOUR favourite way to show g-rated affection to your spouse! Help me add onto this ‘affection’ list.

Much love,

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11 comments… add one
  • Hilarie Feb 16, 2013, 11:38 pm

    Great tips Marcie – In addition to the hugs and kisses my kids see, I think seeing us playful and joking around and really enjoying each other sends great messages about healthy relationships to our children

  • Christie Feb 18, 2013, 8:13 am

    We talk a lot. About everything. We also ask each other’s opinions on all kinds of stuff. I think sometimes the kids would like us to shut up!

    • Marcie Paige Feb 18, 2013, 9:24 am

      Having open communication with your spouse and your kids is a great way to build healthy relationships! Thanks for the advice 🙂

  • Patti Feb 18, 2013, 2:49 pm

    I love the term “G-rated affection”. Children are incredibly fine-tuned into their environment. Small gestures have a big influence. I’m sure it also adds a sense of safety for children to see the love between their parents.

  • Kerry Feb 18, 2013, 3:50 pm

    I don’t currently have a partner but I make sure I model lots of genuine affection in relationships with my friends and family. I once heard someone say “every moment is a teaching moment” and that stuck with me. Both my boys are incredibly affectionate and loving and I am so glad to say they get that from me!

    Great post!


    • Marcie Paige Feb 18, 2013, 4:21 pm

      That’s a great point, you don’t have to have a spouse to teach about affection or being respectful. Thank you for sharing Kerry!

  • Angela at Diyhealthblog.com Feb 18, 2013, 5:57 pm

    I love blog posts that share wisdom succinctly. So true about teaching kids by being a good roll model. That is the best way to influence a young, impressionable mind.

  • Renee Feb 18, 2013, 8:36 pm

    Awesome tips! I have to add that modeling goes further than other practice a parent does. A parents outer voice becomes their child’s inner voice.

  • Christina Caudill Feb 19, 2013, 7:08 pm

    There’s nothing kids understand more than technology! Sending (and receiving) simple “I’m thinking of you” or “I love you” text messages with happy face emojis is something they’d “get.” 🙂

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