15 Nov Hold each other tight: your kids will thank you!
I recently had the opportunity to work with a couple who’s been married for 8 years and had two kids (6 and 3). The partners initially came to consult with me about their 3-year-old emotional and behavioral problems. Very shortly after we started working together it became apparent that the couple was having relationship problems; they were fighting a lot and resorted to yelling, door banging and even leaving the house when things got particularly heated. We started working on their relationship (using Emotionally Focused Therapy) and after only 6 sessions they reported not only that they were getting along better and were happier in their relationship, but also, that the teacher at their 3-year-old day-care told them that her behavior has gotten significantly better. After a couple more sessions they reported having noticed an all-round improvement in their daughter, both emotionally and behaviorally (less crying, less clingy behavior and fewer temper tantrums). Another interesting thing happened when their 6 year old, who had not exhibited any distress initially, told them at dinner time one night that recently she’s been feeling that her family was “the best.” She also commented that when her parents smiled at each other they were “beautiful” and that dinner was her best time of day. This family is a living proof that theory and research in the area of couples relationship and couples therapy, indicating a direct link between the quality of the couple’s relationship and the well-being of their children, is right. So hold each other close to your heart and, if there are challenges in your relationship, get some help. Your relationship could be the most precious asset of your family.