The best way to get your kids to be or act a certain way is to model that behaviour for them.
It’s all very well giving lectures and telling them what they should do, but it’s much better to show them how to behave.
If you want your kid to be compassionate, you need to model compassion. If you want your kid to be a douchebag, be a douchebag. It’s simple.
Lots of couples discuss how to behave in front of the kids. Some choose not to argue whilst others may focus on modeling healthy conflict resolution. Some share housework equally and others make an effort to be thoughtful to those around them. You probably have your own house rules about how to behave when the kids are present.
Dad Models Healthy Relationships By Making Breakfast For His Ex
Relationship breakdowns make parenting more difficult. Most couples disagree about parenting styles and these differences can become heightened when the couple split. All of a sudden, you might not get to chew over the latest parenting quandaries with your co-parent. In fact, you might not speak to them much at all.
Separations often come hand-in-hand with hurt, anger and regret. It can be tough to get through that as parents when you’re both still reeling from the collapse of the relationship.
What happens next is really important for the children. While some parents get sucked into being bitter and hating each other, others invest a lot of energy in trying to stay positive for the kids.
Sure, behind closed doors you might not be so positive about your ex, but you don’t have to let your kids know that. You may not be together anymore, but your kids will still benefit from the two of you having a healthy and supportive relationship with each other.
One dad, Billy Flynn, knows how important it is that his children see him caring for his wife even though they’re no longer together.
On his ex-wife’s birthday he got up early and went around to the house she shares with their sons. He helped the kids prepare breakfast as a birthday treat for their mama and even took flowers for them to give her. The divorced dad took to the Love What Matters Facebook page to share an important message with the world.
Flynn said: “I’m raising two little men. The example I set for how I treat their mom is going to significantly shape how they see and treat women and affect their perception of relationships. Even more so in my case because we are divorced.”
He went on to implore other parents to do the same: “So if you aren’t modeling good relationship behaviour for your kids, get your shit together. Rise above it and be an example. This is bigger than you.”
In the dark moments, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. It can seem impossible to stay calm and ignore your ego, but that’s exactly what your kids need you to do. He may just be an ex to you, but he’s everything to your kids. He’s their daddy and he’s going to be a part of your life for a long time, you may as well try to find a way of working together. Co-parenting isn’t easy, but it will be worth it.