Encouragement/ Helpmeet/ Homemaking/ Parenting

Why We Show Affection In Front of Our Kids

Are you affectionate in front of your kids? What are you teaching them by how you relate to your spouse? Find out why we show affection in front of our kids.

Hugs, hand holding, tickling, snuggling, and kissing are all normal scenes in our home. 

Along with smiles, blowing kisses and multiple “I love you’s” being said. 

This affection not only takes place among our children but also between Mama and Daddy. 

Yes, our children get along. Most of the time. They enjoy each other’s company and show each other affection. Our Little Lady loves to hug and kiss her brothers goodnight. They laugh and tickle each other as they play. How do they learn this behavior? It certainly doesn’t come naturally!

Children learn how to get along and interact with each other by watching their examples. If my husband and I are constantly contentious with each other it will rub off on them and they will treat each other the same way. 

They are also learning what marriage looks like by the watching their parents. They are learning how to have either a happy, lively marriage, a mediocre marriage or an unhappy marriage by watching us. They are more perceptive than we give them credit for.

What are we teaching them by how we treat our spouses? How are we preparing them for their future marriage?

Why We Show Affection in Front of Our Children 

1. Model a Healthy Marriage.

If Christian marriages look dull and boring why would Christian kids want to grow up and have one of their own. They won’t. What the world has to offer looks enticing, fun and exciting. We are up against a big threat. Satan is doing everything he can to break down the institute of marriage.

We need to be modeling a healthy, fun and exciting marriage to our children if we want to have any hope of them wanting it for themselves.

Christianity doesn’t need to be boring!

2. Security

Research shows that children feel more secure when their parents get along. I wonder how much more confidence children would have if their parents not only got along but enjoyed their marriage.

I grew up in a broken home, my biological father has never been a part of my life while my mom and stepdad fought like cats and dogs for many of their early years. Dad would move out for a few months here and there. (He always came back.) That was the norm and because of that it left us kids always wondering when the next fight would break out, if dad was gonna leave, if mom was gonna storm out, you name it. It is an unpleasant feel for little children. My background definitely backs up the research.

Find out why we show affection in front of our kids.

So as a wife and mom, I want to break those destructive patterns that tend to plague each generation. I want to make sure my kids feel safe and secure that Mama and Daddy will always be there. I hope to raise more confident adults.

I love my parents but my upbringing has definitely defined who I am today but I would be deceiving myself if I were to sit here and write that I am grew up into a confident and secure adult based on my childhood experience. Thankfully, we are all a work in progress!

3. Kiss your way to a better marriage philosophy.

If you’ve never read Courtney’s post (linked above) on this philosophy I strongly suggest that you do! I love her insight into this area.

Seriously, you will have a better, more fulfilling marriage if you’re kissing often.

We are modeling what marriage looks like to our children. There is this image that Christians have dull and boring marriages. Many young adults leave the church. Men are falling into pornography addictions left and right. What if we were modeling that Christians have just as much fun (even more fun when done Gods way!).

If we aren’t living by example we are setting up our children for a shaky future. Marriage is the foundation for a healthy family. When marriages crumble so do the families and generations to come. This is why satan is trying so hard to attack this institution. Let’s put up a fight.

 

Your turn! What kind of marriage are you modeling for your children? Do you make it a habit to show affection in front of your children?

This post may be linked up with any of these blogs.

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29 Comments

  • Reply
    Michele Morin
    December 18, 2015 at 9:18 am

    What an amazingly practical post — especially for those of us with more reticent personalities. We’ve survived the years of “EEEEEW” from our kids, and they just take it for granted now that their mum and dad love each other. This is definitely a case of teaching by living out the truth!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 18, 2015 at 10:49 pm

      “We survived the eeeww years” – I love that! Made me chuckle!!

  • Reply
    Amanda @ The Fundamental Home
    December 18, 2015 at 9:35 am

    Our children are teenagers. They don’t really act like they appreciate it when we are affectionate, but I am sure they they do. It’s nice to know that your parents love one another. One day soon, they will understand and think back to our happy marriage and be even more glad to have had a good example. Thanks for sharing this post!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 18, 2015 at 10:50 pm

      I so agree, Amanda! They are learning how to treat their spouse by watching us.

  • Reply
    Ifeoma Samuel
    December 19, 2015 at 10:21 am

    Friend, this is superb! I couldn’t agree more…you nailed it!
    Thank you for this.
    I appreciate meeting you and I pray you have a splendid holiday and gracefully move into the New Year.
    Thank you for encouraging me and being a blessing to me. You are loved, Ana. Many Blessings to you

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 21, 2015 at 10:17 am

      Thanks so much, Ifeoma! I hope you have a Merry Christmas and happy New Year as well!

  • Reply
    Helene
    December 19, 2015 at 10:28 am

    As my oldest has gotten old enough to spend time with other families, she has come to appreciate the peace, affection and stability of ours.

  • Reply
    Lori Schumaker
    December 19, 2015 at 9:03 pm

    I fully agree! Affection is a regular around here! I’m pretty much wired that way, though, and would not even be able to function without lots of affection! lol! Great post, Ana! Thank you!
    Blessings this Christmas season,
    Lori

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 21, 2015 at 10:19 am

      Oh my, me too! I am wired the same way! Merry Christmas!!

  • Reply
    lori
    December 21, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    My kids, now grown, moan and groan whenever we get “mushy” around them. But behind their groans, they’re smiling. 🙂

  • Reply
    Jed
    December 22, 2015 at 11:15 am

    Great thoughts for both moms and dads. Thank you for sharing this. In a world where so much negativity gets attention, modeling a healthy marriage for our kiddos, is more important than ever.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 23, 2015 at 12:29 pm

      I so agree, our kids need all the help we can give them for when they become adults. Society certainly isn’t modeling marriage well for them!

  • Reply
    Sarah Travis
    December 22, 2015 at 11:39 am

    I have been coming across so many incredible Christian parenting post recently and can only believe it is the Lord preparing me as we are expecting our first child! Affection is definitely something we are already talking about being mindful of. I remember seeing my parents hold hands once or twice and maybe kiss a couple of times. I know they love each other dearly and I have never heard them argue but affection wasn’t something they showed. My husband grew up in an argumentative home so he also never saw loving affection. We want our children to see every love language in their home 🙂 #TuesTalk

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 23, 2015 at 12:30 pm

      I love that you are starting to be intentional even before your baby arrives! That is awesome, Sarah!

  • Reply
    Anna Smit
    December 22, 2015 at 6:30 pm

    Lots to reflect on here. My parents modelled this a lot…they weren’t perfect, but we saw that they loved each other. What I did miss though is more openness, sharing things that would have helped us to see them as broken humans, still loved by a gracious God. I think we have to be careful that we model the truth and not a make-believe perfect.

    I’m realizing that with children in the mix (ours are 3 and 5), time alone together is SO important in growing together in love. Without it, we dry up. Whenever we go for a long walk or run together and the words flow freely between us, we come back refreshed and strengthened in our love…and then affection flows freely and we are also more on one page in front of our kids.

    I’m also noticing that I need time alone with God…if my day starts out with that then joy, love, peace and patience flow more freely too. But I’ll admit that this is also SO hard to find (even in setting my alarm to really early my kids are waking up with me at the moment).

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 23, 2015 at 12:34 pm

      Yes, spending alone time together definitely helps the love flow freely. i need date nights to keep me fueled. One of my goals for 2016 is to make a monthly date night become a habit. Connecting with our spouse is critical to a happy marriage.

      It is amazing what our time with God can do for our day. We can choose love and walk in the Spirit when we have met with Jesus in the morning. Otherwise, we sow the wrong seeds in our parenting and marriage!

      So glad you stopped by today and jumped into the conversation!

  • Reply
    Liz
    December 23, 2015 at 10:28 am

    Such great practical tips! I have a dear friend who is a huge proponent of debunking the theory that married Christians can only have boring sex lives… Love her!

  • Reply
    Morgan @ Morgan Manages Mommyhood
    December 29, 2015 at 3:53 am

    I think this is super important and definitely plan to keep up the affection even as our kids get older. My parents (even though they did eventually divorce) were always affectionate, and even though we hemmed and hawed over how ‘gross’ it was, it was secretly comforting to me to know they were stll in love.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      December 30, 2015 at 9:18 am

      Exactly, it is a comfort to children – even if they act grossed out on the outside! 😉

  • Reply
    Beth
    January 6, 2016 at 10:54 am

    This is a great post, Ana! It is actually an issue in my marriage. I grew up in an intact family but my parents rarely if ever showed affection to each other or to us their kids. So it’s been as you said a, “work in progress” for me to think about being affectionate with my husband. I’m sure I’ve missed lots of opportunities to model that for my kids. Thankfully my husband came from a very affectionate family and he has shown affection to me in front of the kids on many occasions. Thanks for this important reminder and challenge. So needed!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 6, 2016 at 3:14 pm

      It seems like each spouse usually comes from one or the other background. I love knowing that my children feel more secure because of my marriage. It definitely makes you want to be more intentional about your marriage.

  • Reply
    Kim
    January 11, 2016 at 5:33 pm

    My parents weren’t good models of this. I’m so glad that we do things differently in our home. Reassures my kids that we love each other and keeps hubby and I close and acting like teens. LOL! Great post!

  • Reply
    Kayla
    January 15, 2016 at 6:20 pm

    I really appreciate the modeling a healthy marriage point. I agree that if children see their parent’s enjoy their marriage, they will want that themselves. I am blessed to have parents who are still married and they have always enjoyed each other. It has helped me value marriage and now enjoy my own marriage!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      January 15, 2016 at 9:29 pm

      I love to hear stories like yours! God’s way does work! Thanks for sharing!!

  • Reply
    Christia Colquitt
    January 15, 2016 at 6:52 pm

    Such a great reminder on the importance of showing affection in front of our kids. We do it all the time and it really does make such an impression on our children. Thank you for sharing at the Faith Filled Parenting LinkUp.

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