Let’s get things straight right off the bat…I’m only talking about G or PG rated affection here folks, don’t start jumping to conclusions that quickly. Keep it to a simple kiss, appropriate hugs, and basically anything you wouldn’t be uncomfortable seeing when you were a child watching your parents interact.
I had a few friends growing up that their parents didn’t show a lot of affection, and they didn’t even really say “I love you,” to each other.
That was quite different from the way my parents interacted. My mom and dad shared 3 small pecks before my dad left for work and as soon as he got home. When we go to visit we still give both parents a hug as we walk in the door and before we are leaving. We also say “I love you,” at the end of every conversation and as we are leaving.
There is nothing wrong with either type of family interaction. You do what works best for your family, but there has been research to show there are some great benefits when children see their parents’ affection.
1. It strengthens family bonds
When children see their parents love each other, it is reassuring for the children and they feel more secure.
2. It provides an appropriate example
If we want our children to develop healthy relationships as they mature; they need to know what those healthy relationships look like. There aren’t many great examples available in the media regarding healthy relationships, so we have to show them.
3. It sets priorities
My children know my husband is my best friend, and yes, he rates above their needs. Of course, he doesn’t have as many needs as they do, and of course, his needs often coincide with taking care of their needs. My children aren’t neglected by any means to take care of my husband, but if they want their 10th drink of water, and my husband needs something, he comes first.
4. It helps kids share their emotions
When children understand that you can love someone even when you disagree, they feel more comfortable expressing their emotions. Even when my oldest gets in trouble, he knows we still love him because he knows that is possible. He has seen me and my husband disagree, but he knows that we still love each other and we work through the disagreements.
5. It helps your relationship
When couples are affectionate throughout the day, it strengthens their relationship. The parents’ relationship has to be first to make the rest of the family work, it can’t be put on the back burner until you are available later on. Your spouse needs to know you are thinking about them throughout the day, despite the task.
What else do you do to strengthen your relationship with your spouse? Are your kids used to seeing you kiss? Do you agree with these benefits, or not? We’d love to hear your thoughts!