What kind of family life do you wish to create and what role does your own family experience play?
From the moment you make a commitment to your partner, you begin to set the foundation for what your family will become. The relationship you and your partner develop and eventually demonstrate to your children will create the first role models they see. From the moment they are born they start absorbing your verbals and non- verbals, laughter and smiles, love and respect, and they will watch how you build your family.
How you were raised greatly affects the relationships you later form, and it can certainly affect the direction you take your life and your family life. If you are on this website you’ve probably already started your family. It’s important that you are aware of events and behaviors you experienced during your own development. What positive and loving behaviors would you wish to carry forward and incorporate in the family you are building? What would you like to change and handle in a different way? Share important life events you had growing up with your partner and talk together about the family you both hope to have. How will you do it? When your children are old enough, have “family council” meetings that allow them to share their thoughts and ideas. You’ll be amazed at the things they come up with!
Your family life will be affected by countless things, some beyond your control (certain health and mental issues, financial challenges), but much is under your control (living within your means, choosing positive friends, avoiding addictive habits that harm you and others). In any case, you can choose how you personally respond to your family’s behaviors, opportunities and challenges. Observe what you do in various situations. Do you listen and consider all the possibilities? Do you respond and treat others with respect, in a loving way? Do you find ways to relieve your stress to help keep things in perspective? Always remember that you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of others!
Like all of us, the family experience our children have growing up will impact the adults and parents THEY become. Make it positive and powerful!