Tag: love

Why The Relationship with Your Partner Needs to Come First

With 1 in 3 marriage lasting 12.1 years we wanted to dig deeper on why some relationships don’t make the distance. One of the most stressful times for a relationship is during the parenting years. With only so many hours in the day, it’s easy to prioritise the kids and neglect your partner. We want you to have a thriving life – not just as a parent, but as a human in a romantic relationship too. But how do you do both and why does your relationship with your partner need to come first? We asked relationship experts Allan and Barbara Pease some questions to help us out with this very important topic.

Should the relationship with our partner come first?

“Becoming a parent is the single greatest gift in my life”, says Barbara – mother of three, stepmother of three and grandmother of eight. “But there is no question that being a parent is hard work. While children bring new and urgent demands, the couple should remain the overall priority or resentment, anger and feelings of being neglected can build. Without a strong ‘couple relationship’, separation and divorce can rear its head.”

“At the beginning of a relationship, you are lovers and friends. Hormones are keeping you ‘in love’, but it doesn’t last forever. From about six months on, most couples enter a new phase where their relationship shifts as hormones return to their default levels. There is less hormone-driven passion and the bonding-partnership phase begins ”, says Allan.

“When children come along, several things happen – you lose sleep, you focus most of your attention on your child and whatever is left over is spread thinly between other priorities.”

“All of a sudden, you’re not a Husband or Wife or a sexy lover, you’re a Mum or Dad facing the demands of little people who vomit over you. That can make intimacy difficult to maintain if you stop making an effort with your partner and it’s easy for a partner to feel neglected. What worked in the beginning may not now work as kids grow. You have to be prepared to adapt. It’s also important to have regular relationship check-ins with each other”.

“That’s why it’s so important to carve out time for the two of you, right from day one. Create an opportunity to laugh and reconnect with your partner. Keep a sense of humour about nappies and night-time duties, school runs and snotty noses – each phase has its end”, says Barbara. “And prioritise sex – it builds intimacy and is good for your mood!”

Why is it so important to invest in your relationship with your partner after having children?

“Two is a couple – three is a crowd. You’ve gone from being a sexy, selfish, loving couple to being in 2nd place (or even 3rd place if you have a pet). If this goes unchecked, resentment and anger can grow”, says Allan. “Having children is exciting and rewarding. But separation and divorce rates spike in the 18-month period after the birth of a first child. Make your relationship a priority at all times.”

Here are some daily tips:

Make time every day to chat with your partner and tell them about your day. Even if it is only 10 minutes…make a cup of tea and go to a quiet space and focus 100% on them.

Make intimate contact every day, whether it’s hugging, holding hands or caressing. For men – this is not necessarily the cue to having sex every night but a chance to connect in a loving way.

Create a ‘you’ time either weekly or monthly where you go for a walk on the beach, have dinner, go to the movies or just sit on the couch and cuddle up.

Have a book that you write in each day about what you loved about each other that day… no negatives just positives and share it once a week.

Have fun together like you used to before you became a Mum and Dad…watch a funny show, go out and just laugh.

How does my relationship with my partner affect my children?

“Without intimacy, a relationship can easily become victim to the stresses of raising children”, says Barbara. “It’s so important to put your relationship first, because without it, you are heading for a very rocky ride.”

“You are a relationship role model for your children – show them that love between parents is a natural and important part of a happy family life. Children will mimic the behaviour of their parents, so you pass on great habits to your future generation. Honest and frequent communication between partners is a key to a long-lasting relationship. It generates understanding so there are less arguments and it means you’re sharing your life with one another, so you’re less likely to grow apart and seek a new relationship. Children find comfort and security in their parents’ healthy relationship, so nurturing it is important. Partners need to come first, but with the understanding that there will be times when children will be your top priority. It comes down to communicating with each other and finding that happy place and letting your partner know that they will always be number one, above everything and everybody.”

If my connection with my partner has been lost, how can I find it again/ rekindle it?

“To create a strong and long-lasting relationship, communication must come first” says Allan.

“But you won’t do it if it’s not enjoyable, so create a fun little ritual for the two of you” says Barbara. “Allan and I have a coffee and work out in the gym together daily. This is our time to connect and at night we are always watching funny movies together. Every Sunday we walk to our favourite coffee shop and it is our time to reflect and be a couple, without the interruption of children.”

The couple add these tips for better intimacy and a happier family life:

Be upfront and open about what you want in your relationship.

Aim for balance – spend some time apart and some time together.

Accept that children will change your relationship, but that with communication you can solve any problem together.

Make time for each other. In the long run, your children will admire happy parents who support and love each other.

If one parent needs time out from the world then this needs to happen….it may be that the Dad needs to go fishing for the weekend or the Mum needs some girl time with her friends. You will come back relaxed and happy to reconnect to your family.

“Remember the reasons you fell in love with your partner and that they are still your soul mate, lover and best friend and not the enemy when times get tough. Your relationship will be the model and guide for your children when they have a relationship and intimacy. Children absorb everything that they learn through our behaviours. They learn about gender roles, respect, boundaries, intimacy and love. When a child watches his father love and respect his mother, he will do the same to his partner. When a child watches his Mother have a strong sense of self-worth, unconditional love and respect, that child will pass this onto the next generation. Handling conflict together so that you are coming from the same page is what the children need to see and learn from. Your children will pass this onto their children. Making your partner number one at all times ensures that your bond is strong and that your emotional connection is resilient, helping your relationship last a lifetime”.


About Barbara and Allan 

Barbara & Allan Pease are the most successful relationship authors in the business. They have written 18 bestsellers – including 10 number ones – and travelled the world extensively giving seminars in 70 countries. Visit their website HERE. 

 

Read ‘How to Fight Fairly In Your Relationship’ with Julia Nowland, from Whole Heart Relationships, HERE. 

9 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LEARN

9 TIPS FOR ENCOURAGING KIDS TO LEARN

In life, we are always learning. Whether it’s learning to walk, learning our times tables, learning to accept failure or learning how to do our jobs, our brains are naturally hungry for more knowledge.

While it’s our job as parents to teach our children the many things that they need to know (not an easy feat!), it’s also important to encourage them to learn things for themselves. It’s key that we show them that we love learning things for ourselves too.

Where is the (Learning) Love?

Babies and toddlers have an innate curiosity about the world around them, soaking up new information like sponges. They love to investigate their surroundings and develop their abilities.

However, somewhere along the way, this natural love for learning is often lost. This tends to happen during their school years when learning starts to feel like a job or a chore. There are books to read, tests to complete and skillsets to master, which can leave kids feeling overwhelmed and often dreading the thought of learning.

Well, parents, it’s time to bring back the fun in learning and instil this innocent love of learning that our babies and toddlers knew so well.
Here are a few ways to do this:

1. Model a Love of Learning

We are our children’s foremost teacher. Sure, they go to school, but the majority of learning happens at home, with us. If they see you furthering your learning, they may want to do it too.

On the rare occasion when I actually sit down to read a book, my kids will often grab their own books and join me. I know my kids won’t do this forever – one day they will be teens and I won’t be ‘cool’ to hang out with anymore. But, for now, if I’m keen to try something new and expand my skillset, then the kids are usually on board too. Talk about things you are learning, and show them that you are always wanting to learn new things, whether that be trying a new recipe, researching a destination for your next holiday, or simply helping them with their science project. Show them that you love learning new things, and that you are inquisitive. Inquisitive minds love learning.

2. Be Aware of How Children Learn

Children and teens learn in five main ways: by seeing, hearing, exploring, experimenting and asking questions. Give them opportunities to do all five at home.

3. Teach them to be Active Learners

There are always opportunities to learn more. If your kids have a question and you don’t know the answer, look it up (Captain Google to the rescue). Your kids will soon want to do this themselves. Allowing them to seek out answers rather than just accepting that they don’t know is a great way to encourage your children to love learning.

4. Think Outside the Book

Get creative at home by looking for ways to help further their skills in fun, exciting ways. I make treasure hunts in the backyard for my kids. With every clue, I’ll use maths equations that they need to solve in order to find the next clue. My kids absolutely love doing them and I love that they have to do maths (and work together) to uncover the prize.

5. Discover their Interests

Help your child discover what they love doing, reading, writing and watching, and build on that. If your child is learning about a certain piece of history, take them to the museum. If they’re learning about ecosystems and native animals, take them to the zoo. If your child loves watching kids on YouTube, help them learn how to make their own videos (or at least teach them how to use the video function on the iPad without posting it to YouTube).

Or, enrol them in PakMag’s new online course for kids that teaches children how to master video recording. Email monique@pakmag.com.au to find out more.

6. Learn through Experiences

We learn new things by doing them, so get them out to explore. You don’t have to be constantly teaching them, asking them questions or grilling them about what they are learning. Let them explore, play and come to you with questions. This takes the pressure off and helps instil their sense of wanting to learn.

7. Support their Schooling

Some kids love school. Others do not. But, regardless of how they feel about it, they have to go. School teaches them so much more than just basic numeracy and literacy skills and, although it can be a bit tricky and tedious at times, it’s part of being a kid. Make the schooling experience positive by asking them about it, keeping up to date on what they are doing and, if you can, volunteering when they need parent helpers.

8. Encourage Relaxation Time Too

If your kids are getting burnt out, give them a break. We all need time to just chill out, give our minds a break and absorb everything.

I will give my kids a ‘mental health day’ once or twice a year where they can stay home with me for the day, but only if they promise not to fight and to do something creative together. They always do and they always return to school the next day feeling a little more refreshed and ready to learn.

9. Nurture their Curious Natures

The best way to bring back that innocent love of learning that our babies and toddlers possessed is to let our kids be kids.

Let them explore and experiment, even if it means a big mess to clean up. Encourage them to ask questions, even if you need to pull out the computer to find the answer (hey, at least it’s not an Encyclopedia). Let them do things for themselves, even if it takes FOREVER to get it done.

Support their interests, no matter how quirky they are. Reassure them that it’s important to explore what we don’t know. Most importantly, remind them that you are always right there, ready to offer a helping hand if they get stuck. And don’t forget, monkey see, monkey do; role model a love of learning and your children will likely follow suit.