By Carol-Ann Dixon, a licensed Psychologist specialising in Family and Relationship Counselling. She also runs workshops assisting couples and parents to strengthen and heal their relationships. Click here to find out more.
From that first wondrous moment when children are birthed into life they begin to assimilate every relational experience through their interactions with those closest to them.
The space a couple creates ideally needs to be a sacred and safe place, because it is in this space between a couple that children can blossom and grow. It is the space where children play, rest peacefully, learn, and observe us with those big curious eyes. When we honour the space between us we give a gift of immeasurable worth to our children.
There is no such thing as the perfect parent; fortunately despite our imperfections, children demonstrate resilience in less than ideal circumstances. When we don’t take responsibility for the space between us because of our own insecurities and relationship dynamics, we pollute it with our emotions, our words, looks, reactions or criticisms, either aimed at each other or at the child. When the space between us becomes uncomfortable, and both parents and children react to the discomfort, all parties experience the feeling of danger in the space. Instead of experiencing relaxed joyfulness, our children experience pain, stress and fear.
For the sake of our children it is imperative that we find ways of keeping our relationship space sacred, keeping it free of toxicity, negativity and shame and blame. It is incumbent on us to stay conscious and intentional with our interactions and be aware of how we are impacting our child’s future relational imprint.
French writer Marcelle Bruce says, “The adventure of life is not about discovering new landscapes, but seeing old landscapes with new eyes.” If we can bring new eyes, an open heart and a generosity of spirit into the space, and listen to each other, and our children, as if we were learning a new language, new music or a new rhythm, we may be able to connect with each other (partner, spouse, co-parent and children) in a completely different way. In a way that honours the human spirit and creates a safe playground between us for the sake of our children.
Click here to find companies that offer both individual couple therapy and workshops for couples