What keeps your family together? Are the kids at the top, carefully adjusting areas that they want to change? Or, are Mom and Dad at the head of the family, keeping kids under control while also maintaining their own relationship? More often than not, a couple gets married because they love each other, unconditionally. But, sometimes we see parents drift apart when children come along. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that children are negative in any way. In fact, children should be something that brings families together. Unfortunately, though, parents might start to drift apart when they have children.
In class, Brother Michael D. Williams, a Marriage & Family Therapist, started a role-play with three students. There was Mom and Dad, and their son, all attending a counseling session. Dad was gone at work a lot, and sometimes for long periods of time, leaving Mom to take care of their son. We recognized that Mom and Son were very close, with Dad separated quite a bit. The son would often have asthma attacks, and when those happened, Mom would go into alert mode and frantically try to help him. So, we then recognized that the son even had some power over his mom. Then the son was asked to act out what happens when he has an attack, and have Mom and Dad also do their parts in this situation. Mom started to frantically try to fix the situation, and eventually called Dad and he calmly talked her through what she needed to do. When the therapist saw the interaction between Mom and Dad, he continued to try and bring the two together in order to structure the family more around them. By the end of the session, Mom and Dad were sitting together and acted together to keep their family in shape. Then, we found out that in this true story (this actually happened!), the son started having less and less asthma attacks.
Now, what does this have to do with anything? Children will do what it takes to keep their family together. If a child sees that their parents are distant, they will try to fix that by finding certain actions that bring their parents together, much like the boy and his asthma attacks. This could be anything. Children are little scientists and they are constantly observing their parents and the world around them. So, what can we do?
As parents, we need to love our spouse. In church, sit next to your spouse. Love your children, but make sure you have a special, exclusive bond with your spouse as well. You and your spouse created a family, and you need to be in charge of that family. If you want happy children, make sure that you and your spouse show them what it is like to be happy, by being close to one another and loving each other. Be an example to your children.
I believe that children are happiest when they can see how much their parents love each other. When I am married and having children, I want my bond with my spouse to grow every single day, especially when my children come around. I am so very grateful that I can have children in my future, and I am very grateful for all of you. I am most grateful for my parents and the wonderful example they have set for me.
Especially my mom. Mom, you are the best woman in my life. You lift me up and support me and show me what real love is. I don’t know what I’d do or where I’d be if I didn’t have you. I know that I was meant to be in this family. I miss you loads and loads, especially when I eat food and do laundry. I can’t wait until I see you again.
Happy Mother’s Day everyone!
Until we meet again,