Why It Might Be Good To Show Some PDA Around Your Kids

This is a guest post from Jesse Barnett. Jesse is a writer, teacher, carpenter, and minister. He lives just outside of Atlanta with his wife Rebecca and his daughter Gracie and son Joel. He believes that great families aren’t just made, they’re built, and he wants to give you the tools to build a great family. You can read his blog at TheFamilyBuilder.org and follow him on Twitter. If you want to guest post on my blog, check out my guest post guidelines and submit your post.

First, when I say PDA I am strictly talking G-rated stuff here: kisses, hugs, hand-holding, etc. So feel free to keep reading.

Why It Might Be Good To Show Some PDA Around Your Kids - JackieBledsoe.com

Here is the backstory:

My daughter is twelve years old, going on sixteen. Actually she has been going on sixteen since she was four. She loves fashion, is tall and thin, and has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and a radiant smile.

In short, I am going to be in trouble with the boys in a few years.

She is at this funny age where she expresses disgust whenever I kiss her mom or give her mom a hug or express my undying emotion to my bride of 14 years.

I presume this is normal for a young lady that still says she thinks boys are gross, but has to notice how great their Axe body spray smells and how their longish locks fall ever so deliberately across their forehead.

Model Love

So, as a dad, I am trying to model for her the way she should be treated and the way she should ultimately be loved by the man God has for her.

So I show my wife some affection. I compliment her on how beautiful she looks, whether she is wearing her pajamas, business clothes, or a dress. I tell her how proud of her I am for the work that she does. I let her know that she is a great teacher to our kids. I hold her when she is feeling sad and I kiss her on the forehead.

I kiss her when she walks out the door so she carries my love with her throughout her day. I kiss her when she walks in the door so she knows how much I love her and that I missed her.

I wrap my arms around her, pull her into my embrace, and let her know that she is the only one for me.

We giggle together and I rub lotion on her feet and wipe away her tears.

All of this I do in front of my impressionable, turning into a young lady, daughter.

“Ugh, you guys are gross.”
“You guys are so weird.”
“Dad, stop it.”

Your Kids Will See Your Example

But just like she notices those gross boys I mentioned above, she notices how much her dad treasures her mom. She sees how a man can love and respect a woman for her intellect as well as her beauty. She sees the words I write to her mom on our special occasions. She sees me adore her mom in good times and bad.

She sees us get along and she sees us have arguments. She sees us pray and ask God for guidance and direction and unity and a strong family.

I hope that she sees in me what she will look for when she doesn’t think boys are so gross. When they start to notice her more than they already do. I hope she remembers what Mom and Dad taught her by their actions and by their words.

Positive Physical Interaction

So, I encourage you to do the same.

Model for your kids the type of traits you hope they find in their future spouse. Show them how you want to be loved and treated by loving and treating your spouse that way.

Don’t be afraid to be honest with them about how you feel about each other.
They need positive interaction modeled for them by the people they see and value most.

So here’s what I need you to do. Put down whatever you are using to read this. Go find your husband or your wife and plant a big kiss on them, right in front of your kids.

They may act repulsed, but they won’t doubt that you love each other.

Question: Are you modeling the kind of relationship you hope your son or daughter will have with their future spouse? How can you show healthy affection to your spouse today? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

photo credit: Fierberg_Photojournalism_1 via photopin (license)

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Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • I think leading by example is a great idea in all areas of life. Especially when it comes to PDA. You should teach your kids what is appropriate and inappropriate. They may grow up with unrealistic expectations and not understand how to treat someone you care about with dignity and respect.

  • Jackie and Jessie, encouraging post. Although this is stuff I already know, it’s a great reminder and prompts me to look at myself and say, “am I doing that with my wife?” A little, but not enough. My parents fought all the time while my siblings and I grew up and divorced just when most of us left the house. I didn’t have good role models, so I think I’m doing fine because my wife and I get along pretty well. But I’ve got a long way to go. I’ll follow in your footsteps, as you are allowing the grace of God to work in you to be the godly men you were created to be!

    • Thanks for sharing, Matt!

    • Hey Matt,

      Thank you for your honesty and transparency.

      I applaud you for recognizing that you could do better in that area. Trust me, I wrote the post and I can still do better too! I think when we recognize that we can improve a little each day and that our marriage is a process it relieves some of the burden we feel to be perfect. I would also imagine that you do better than you realize since you have an awareness of what you want your marriage to look like.

      Thanks for the kind words and for working hard to make your marriage great.

      Keep building,
      Jesse

  • Jackie and Jesse,

    Great and rare post. Don’t hear too much about how to do this type of PDA. This is one of those things my wife and I practice constantly. I have 1 daughter (24) and three younger boys, 14-19. Funny thing is just about an hour ago, I went into our classroom (we homeschool) and while my wife was teaching my two younger boys, I went and interrupted her with a kiss. Then I said: ‘oh you need another one for the sake of the boys.” lol… Of course they were grossed out and made their remarks and we laughed.

    We need to be naturally intentional on how we model our love practically to our wives and ladies their husbands, in front of our kids. They need to know how to expect to be treated and how they should also treat their future spouses. Better to learn good PDA from the safety of the home than from the TV or somewhere else.

    I believe it is out God-given mandate as parents and demonstrating the right kind of care, love and affection for our kids and for our wives in front of our kids, it’s a healthy thing.

    thanks again Jesse. Good stuff.

    • Hey Alex,

      Great to hear from you and thank you for the kind words. It’s good to know I’m not the only one who embarrasses his kids!

      I’m glad you were able to make an impression on your boys and let your wife know how much you love her all at the same time. I’m constantly reminded what a privilege and responsibility it is to model love for my kids. As you said, they’re going to learn it somewhere–I want it to be from me.

      Thanks again for the support. Keep on building your family!

      Jesse

  • Jackie,

    Thank you for allowing me to guest post on your site today. I greatly admire the work you do to help men lead and love their families. It’s not always easy to know what to do as a dad, but you provide great resources to the people that visit your site. I’m honored to join you.

    I hope my words can encourage your readers in some small way today.

    Jesse

    • Jackie and Jesse, Great post! Very rich. I am reposting it on my men’s group’s FB page.

      • Thanks Pat! I appreciate the kind words and I really appreciate you sharing the post!

    • It is my pleasure, Jesse! Thanks for sharing.