Children learn from their parents’ marriage

2015-12-02 06:00
Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya. Photo: supplied

Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya. Photo: supplied

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THE building blocks of intimacy, giving and receiving, trusting and being trustworthy are learnt in childhood. When children are given consistent loving attention they develop skills for establishing and maintaining nurturing relationships.

My husband and I help our sons understand concepts like “choices” and “consequences” and reinforce positive behaviour. But I realised that our marriage is the key to presenting them with the set of values and beliefs they would believe were “right”, for better or worse.

I remember the rare occasions when my dad would cook breakfast, the happiness that brought to the family, the smile on my mom’s face is still very vivid. While most parents instinctively understand the importance of being affectionate with their children, some overlook the fact it’s critical for them to see mom and dad being demonstrative towards each other.

We are so busy running the household and working, and with an infinite number of distractions, that only a short time is left for after the children are in bed. When children grow up knowing their parents love and make time for each other, it provides a sense of security that nothing else can. Allow them to help you set a date night, choose romantic music, pick the outfit, play waiter for the night.

Let them see you dance, hug, kiss, communicate and laugh together. Single parents can demonstrate some of these skills in healthy relationships with friends and family members. Do not assume that its enough to show love, but tell each other that you love each other every chance you get, and they will do same to you.

I know my sons will be wonderful, loving husbands one day. All am praying for is for another couple to do the same with their daughters.

About the columnist:

Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya is a biological mother of two boys, Mpilonhle (13) and Bongi (7), but a mother to many, who has been married for 10 years. She is completing her final year in psychological counselling and her ultimate goal is to be a clinical psychologist specialising in family and marriage counselling.

“I am passionate about the subject of family and children because I believe it is the core of everything in life. I work with families in my work as a wedding planner. I am fascinated by the multiracial dynamics in family lifestyles and parenting. I believe through communication we can have an insight of understanding each other and how similar we really are. I do motivational speaking in various subjects around relationships.

- Nhla Dlamini-Ngcoya.

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