A model of love for your children

A model of love for your children
Children need to know that you’re in love. First, because it makes them understand that they’re not your only source of love, which is a good thing, because that would be one heavy load to carry.

Children need to know that you’re in love. First, because it makes them understand that they’re not your only source of love, which is a good thing, because that would be one heavy load to carry.

Second, because they’ll know that they come from happiness, which will influence their own perception of love. “If your children see that you’re tender and affectionate with each other, and that you joke around together and tell each other that you love each other, their own relationships will benefit later. There’s no need for exhibitionism: affection and tenderness are transparent. Just like everything you teach them, the way you show your love will work its way into their systems and memories,” explains John Wright, psychologist and couples therapist.

Sex therapist Mireille Dion agrees. “Showing your children that you love each other is a gift you give to them. They won’t hold it against you if the two of you go out on Friday nights, or if you leave them in front of the television on Saturday mornings while you share a moment together!” she adds.

It’s actually important for your children to know that there’s a secret place where they’re not allowed. “Regardless of the reason (talking, cuddling), they’ll understand that you make alone time for yourselves for intimacy and rest, with the door closed. It also teaches them that they, too, are entitled to moments alone,” explains Dion.

All children naturally want to disrupt this intimacy and slide between their parents, whether on the couch or in their bed. But you’ll be better off keeping these moments exclusively for the two of you. “Many parents don’t dare lock their doors for fear that their children will figure out what they’re doing, no matter how natural it is. However, just the contrary is true; it’s comforting for children to know that their parents are still lovers, given the number of separations they’re exposed to,” explains Geneviève Parent.

What type of couple are you?

Geneviève Parent, author of the book Questions sexuelles pour couples actuels (Questions about sex for today’s couples), invites parents to question themselves about the type of couple they are.

Are you:

  • a couple that is never affectionate with each other, with children who ask themselves why you’re still together?
  • a functional couple that forms a work team and shares daily tasks, including your children’s education, but with no more spark between you than two colleagues working on the same project?
  • a family-oriented couple that lets their children’s needs and activities come before their own and that, when asked what their upcoming projects are, systematically answer: a trip with the kids, an outing with the kids? A couple that basically wouldn’t exist without the kids?
  • a couple so in love that their children’s needs come second, and who constantly have their kids babysat because they have several outings planned each week?
  • a balanced couple that knows how to keep their love alive by regularly planning outings for two, being affectionate—even in front of their children—having fun as a family and who know that family time is just as fun as couple time?
Questioning yourselves on the type of couple you are can help you refocus on the type of couple you want or don’t want to be.