When it comes to building a strong family, you must begin by building a strong foundation. The foundation of the family is extremely important because it will ensure that you can stand strong and endure even life's toughest trials. Here are some good ways to start building that foundation.
Put Your Spouse First
Most parents will tell you that the children come first, even over their spouse. But what they don't realize is that this may give children the idea that their parents are divided, meaning that if one parent says no, they can simply ask the other parent. Your children need to know that you and your spouse are on the same team. If you put your spouse first, you are demonstrating that you are both equals and your children will respect this. By putting your spouse first and showing your children the unity between the both of you, you are actually nurturing them and giving them a sense of peace, understanding, and equal respect.
Give your children some individual attention from time to time. Take them out on a trip with just dad or mom. Show them that they are not only loved as part of the family, but individually as well. This will teach them that they are extremely important, loved and understood on an emotional and individual level. It will also help form long-term trust and an unbreakable bond and let them know that they can come to you with issues about anything.
A vital component in building a strong parental foundation is leading your family as a unit. In this aspect, you are essentially the coach, watching how the team relates to one another and how they work together. You must ensure that each player is doing their part for the whole and not just doing what's best for them individually. This way, the parent has the family's well being at the forefront. For example, if one of your children are acting up, don't just discuss the problem with them individually. Instead, talk to the family as a group and work together as a team to come up with solutions.
Happy, Healthy Relationships
It is important to remember that each family member needs to feel important on an individual level, as well as like they're a part of a happily functioning unit. You and your spouse are the coaches, and the children need to feel like they can trust you and follow your lead. With a strong foundation, you can ensure happy and healthy family relationships for a long time to come.
A lot of these concepts and ideas may seem overwhelming at first, but keep practicing them. As a trained Mediator, I've found that there is almost always a good solution to any type of problem or difficulty. If you still have any questions about how to improve your parental foundation, feel free to call me.
Holly Mullin, J.D.
Family Law Attorney