What Your Kids Learn from Your Relationship

How to fight, how to make up, how to disagree -- here's what your kids learn from their parents' relationship. (19 Photos)

Jenna McCarthy on Jun 4, 2013 at 11:35PM

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What Your Kids Learn from Your Relationship

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18 Lessons Kids Learn from Your Relationship

You can spend countless hours lecturing your offspring on the benefits of being kind, gracious and forgiving people, but the reality is they get most of their how-to information by watching the way their parents interact. Are you modeling the sorts of behaviors you want to see in your children? Read on for lessons (good and bad) you might be imparting to your kids without realizing it.

How to Have a Healthy Marriage
One of the biggest causes of marital unhappiness and divorce is when couples let their marriage slip to the bottom of the priority list (or off of it entirely), says Judith Siegel, MSW, PhD, Associate Professor of Social Work in the New York University Silver School of Social Work and author of What Children Learn from Their Parents' Marriage. "Before you had children, your spouse was your baby," she explains. "After kids come along, we often stop taking care of our partners. When you make an effort to put energy into your relationship, you send your children the message that marriage is good and that it makes people happy. When you ask a child what brings their mom or dad joy, the luckiest ones are the ones who can answer 'my mom makes my dad happy' and vice versa."

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