Parenting and Passion…Not Mutually Exclusive

February 13, 2010 by  
Filed under Child Development, Communication, Family, Parenting

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The best thing you can do for your kids is to love each other.

The best thing you can do for your kids is to love each other.

Yesterday’s Valentine’s message encouraged you to put passion and intimacy back in your marriage. When you can enjoy each other and feel good about yourselves, you will then feel more positive about the other roles that you also have to fill. The most important role? Parent!

Believe it or not, being parents and being passionate are not mutually exclusive! They may just take a little more effort to work both the role of the loving parent and the loving partner into your life on a regular basis.
Here are some things to keep in mind:

First of all, a passionate night together can’t always be spontaneous anymore. What was wonderful without kids may not be as available to you anymore. So, lack of spontaneity does not mean passion and intimacy have to be passé.

Secondly, planning a night of passion can be exciting. Planning doesn’t have to feel routine and unromantic. On the contrary…There can be anticipation. This can provide strong motivation to take care of all the household chores so that you can enjoy the end pay-off.

However, things don’t always go as planned. Kids will be terribly inconsiderate and get sick, have a bad dream or suddenly remember an unfinished project that’s due the next day.

So, adapting is important. Adapting and regrouping…not giving up altogether.

Share the load with the whole family. Let everyone pitch in to get the essential nightly chores completed.

Set time for each other as a priority. There’s always a tremendous amount of things to do before you probably consider everything ‘done’ for the night. Sometimes the dishes need to be left in the sink, the laundry left unfolded, the toys not put where they go until morning.

Teach boundaries. Set limits before you explode. There’s a time to say, “Enough!” “That’s it…you’re in bed for the night.” “Don’t come out again or there will be consequences.” “Stay in your room and there will be a reward in the morning.” And then, most importantly…follow through!

Here are two key ingredients to setting those boundaries:

KNOCK: Teach your kids privacy from a very early age. A closed door should mean, “Do not come in without knocking and getting permission to enter.” If this is simply another rule in your house, like turning off lights or washing your hands, then it will become ingrained and just taken for granted. Teach your kids to knock. Model that and show them the same courtesy. If you don’t want to have to knock, then keep their doors open. Respecting a closed door will give you more privacy and help prevent kids walking in at inopportune times. Locking your door is also permissible to teach kids to knock.

HAVEN: Make your bedroom a haven for you and your spouse. Leave all the kids toys, bottles, school papers, whatever, outside the door. That actually goes for paperwork and cell phones for business. When you shut your door at work, it means you are in a meeting and basically shouldn’t be disturbed. So it can be at home. When you shut your bedroom door, you are having private time with your mate and basically shouldn’t be disturbed. Talk about the kids in other rooms of the house. Let your bedroom be a place that’s your private space, whether you are passionate or not. Because being together, just the two of you, with your other roles left outside the door, is very intimate all by itself.

Enjoy your kids…but first enjoy each other!

Happy Valentine’s Day all year long!

Stay tuned for tomorrow!                                                                                        Parenting and Passion…Not Mutally Exclusive:  What to do with the kids?

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