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