How Parents Of Teens Can Keep Their Romantic Relationship Healthy | Dr. Terri Orbuch | Episode 57
When we have both a romantic relationship and kids it can create some interesting dynamics. How much physical contact should our kids see? Is it okay to argue in front of them? What if they’re around when you have a bad moment with your spouse? The good news is that relationship expert Dr. Terri Orbuch has been studying marriage, researching what works and what doesn’t, for almost 30 years. Today she’s being interviewed by Mighty Parenting podcast hosts Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler to find out what we need to know to have a happy, healthy, romantic relationship when we have kids. She’ll share insights on physical contact, arguments, and teaching our kids the skills for having a healthy relationship.
BONUS: Enjoy Real Talk where Judy and Sandy discuss helping our teens learn to evaluate a relationship.
BONUS: On her internet radio show, Sandy interviewed Dr. Orbuch about her book 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great. Hear the interview including the most surprising findings from Dr. Orbuch’s multi-decade research study on marriage.
A Favorite Quote from the Show:
“When we have kids, we lose sight of the fact that relationships are fun. Have fun!”
High Points of Keeping Our Romantic Relationship Healthy:
Kids are watching us all the time, including seeing how we interact with everyone in our life.
Research shows it’s healthy for kids to see their parents disagree. They also need to see us solve the disagreement.
During our disagreements or arguments, kids need to see us listen to each other and show that we value the other person and their opinion. They need to see us being respectful, not storming out or name calling.
We can all learn constructive and respectful ways to disagree in a relationship. If we haven’t done it before, we can do in now and in the future.
Talk to your child about what isn’t okay and what doesn’t work well. Share with them some things that do work well and tell them you’re working on these.
If we’re in an unhealthy pattern, our brain will draw us to that familiarity. It can take a 3rd party to help us see a way out. That’s when a counselor, coach, or workshop can be helpful.
When we are irritated or upset, it changes our brain waves. It takes 30 minutes to get back to normal so take an intentional break then come back and discuss the issue. The key is to be kind and intentional about the break as well as returning to the issue.
We want to pass on the skills for healthy disagreement to our kids.
We can teach our kids to be non-judgmental and open to seeing that what works well for one couple isn’t necessarily what works well for another couple.
Use movies or life situations to open conversations with our kids about relationships. “What did you think about the couple in that movie?”
When deciding how much physical intimacy to let your child see, base it on your values. There isn’t one right answer.
Remember that physical touch is important for human beings. It reduces anxiety, lessens depression, decreases pain, and increases the release of health-enhancing hormones. Holding hands, hugging, and the like are important.
Kids who observe touch and public displays of affection are more likely to do it in their own relationships.
Sometimes we aren’t in alignment with our partner and that’s okay. Communicate your needs and listen to theirs then find a solution that respects both.
If you are in a relationship that you want to work on but your partner doesn’t, you can still work on it and impact it. The law of reciprocity says that if you add something to your relationship for a period of time, your partner is likely to feel different and begin to add to it as well.
Adding to your relationship means taking an honest look at how you can be kind and caring toward your partner, not how you can get them to change.
We have control over ourselves so we can choose how we act.
Research shows it’s the little things that have a great impact on a marriage so we can do something as simple as complement our partner for 21 days and it will have an impact.
Use the 10-Minute Rule. Spend 10 minutes each day talking but not discussing the house, the kids, logistics, or your relationship.
When we have kids, we lose sight of the fact that relationships are fun. Have fun!
Dr. Terri Orbuch (Ph.D)(aka The Love Doctor®) is an author, speaker, therapist, professor at Oakland University, and research professor at University of Michigan. She is also the director of a landmark study, funded by National Institutes of Health (NIH), where she has been following the same couples for almost 3 decades. Dr. Orbuch is widely published in scientific journals and the author of 5 Simple Steps to Take Your Marriage from Good to Great and Finding Love Again: 6 Simple Steps to a New and Happy Relationship. Dr. Orbuch has been featured in such publications as, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Reader’s Digest, USA Today, Women’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and TIME magazine and has appeared on The Today Show, MSNBC, The Katie Couric Show, ESPN, HuffPost Live, and CNN. Her new video dating course is called “Finding Love in 7 Days,” and her relationship segments are aired on Fox-2 Detroit Morning News. Her national public television special titled, “Secrets from The Love Doctor” has been airing since December 2013.
Judy Davis and Sandy Fowler are entrepreneurs who help people live better lives. After creating DASIUM they realized they could help parents avoid the challenges and pain they experienced. Mighty Parenting is what families need to get real, relevant information about raising teens and parenting young adults in today's world.
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