You may think that your child isn’t watching you, but the truth is that for better or worse, they closely follow in your footsteps. 

How you parent your child, has a direct impact on the person they will grow up to become. If you parent them with a negative attitude and are emotionally distant, it is likely that your child will follow suit. 

However, if you maintain open communication and create a strong bond with your little ones it can positively affect their mental health. This positive ripple effect can also impact their future success in school, relationships, and in their career. 

As a parent, you want to give your child the best future possible. To do this you must create a close bond with them and strengthen your marriage. You can do this via online marriage courses without taking any precious time away from your parental responsibilities.

Here are 3 truths that show the way you choose to nurture your child can make or break their future.

Truth 1: Structure and Routines are Key

Children thrive when there is structure in their lives. It creates a sense of routine, safety, and consistency. Take for example the routine of sitting down for a family meal every night. Studies show that family mealtime can boost a child’s cognitive developmental skills.

One way you can show consistency in your household is by getting on the same page with your spouse about house rules such as curfews and chores, as well as how to discipline.

Your child will have no structure if one parent is firm on a subject and the other is lax. They must know that their parents operate as a unified team. 

While routines can be helpful in nurturing your child’s sense of security, it’s also important to be flexible. Parenting has a funny way of throwing curveballs your way when you least expect it, so you must be willing to adjust your parenting style to accommodate your child’s growth and development.

Truth 2: Taking Care of Your Marriage is Vital

The best thing parents can do for children is to maintain a healthy marriage. By nurturing your marriage and respecting your spouse, you provide a secure and warm environment for your child. Children are happier and feel more confident when they grow up in households where their parents prioritize their marriage. 

What are some of the positive effects of a happy marriage on children?

  • Children living in a happy family, where parents enjoy a solid marriage,  are more likely to complete higher education.
  • They are less likely to develop emotional and mental health issues. 
  • Children raised in intact married families are less likely to engage in delinquent behavior. 
  • More likely to develop a strong sense of self-worth, and do well at making mature decisions. 
  • Children living with married biological parents are less likely to suffer from physical or sexual abuse.

Parents can ensure their marriage is strong and healthy by taking online marriage courses and also talk to a marriage therapist for relationship advice and mental health support.

By taking an online marriage course, couples learn the importance of compassion within their relationship. This course will also talk about creating shared goals and working as a team.

Communication techniques and boosting emotional and physical intimacy are other important lessons that will strengthen your marriage against whatever comes its way.

Truth 3: You Must be a Friend and a Parent 

Your child already knows that you are their parent. You provide structure and discipline within the household. But do they know that you are also their friend?

A 2012 research study about parent-child relationships reports that adults who report having grown up with high-quality parent-child relationships have better overall mental health than those who reported having poor parental relationships growing up.

A healthy parent-child relationship also lowers the risk of the child developing a mental disorder.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, poor childhood relationships with parents have been proven to increase the risk of a child developing respiratory diseases, some cancers, and cardiovascular and autoimmune conditions.

Walking the line between parent and friend can be a dangerous one. Parents run the risk of being “walked on” or taken advantage of when they are trying to be their child’s friend. However, there are definitely qualities of friendship that your child will benefit from seeing in you.

Here are just some of the positive qualities of friendship that will benefit your child:

Non-judgemental: Hearing the words “I’m disappointed in you” can be emotionally scarring for children. Furthermore, being judgemental may prevent them from coming to you with their problems in the future. Instead, you want to show them love and support. 

Honesty: Your child should know that they can expect kind but truthful answers from you, even when situations are tough.

Loyalty: A loyal friend is someone who will keep secrets, who is trustworthy, and who would never do anything to betray or purposely hurt the one they love.

Respectful: As a parent, you want your child to know that you respect their boundaries (within reason). While you want to guide them in the right direction when you feel they are making mistakes, you also show that you respect their thoughts, feelings, and choices. 

Fun: Your child needs to know that you understand what it’s like to be a kid. The more fun you can have recreationally as a family, the closer they will bond with you. 

Children who grow up with a close relationship with their parents receive many benefits as adults. 

There is no doubt that having a close relationship with your children will help them grow into happy, healthy adults.

Being a parent is no easy task. In order to raise your child to be happy and successful, you must first learn to care for your relationship with online marriage courses. You can also nurture your children by maintaining open communication, helping them develop life skills and encouraging them to pursue their goals.