What Parenting Taught Me About Marriage

What Parenting Taught Me About Marriage June 5, 2017

…and what marriage taught me about parenting.

Simcha wrote a great piece today about bad marriage advice, comparing it to advice on parenting toddlers. I have a slightly different perspective, since a lot of what I’ve learned from parenting has been applicable to my marriage, and a lot of what I’ve learned through my marriage has been helpful in parenting my children.

For my own amusement, and yours, I’ve written up a list of these overlapping insights on marriage and parenting.


What parenting taught me about marriage and what marriage taught me about parenting:

Listen more.

Set boundaries and don’t let yourself be walked all over, but give way when you reasonably can.

Make decisions based on the people you actually are, not what some other family does.

It’s OK to ask for outside help. At some point, you’ll need it.

Understand that sometimes one or all of the people involved in an argument really need food, sleep, or a good cry more than any of you need to finish the argument.

It’s important to consider whether health problems may be affecting behaviour.

Be affectionate sometimes even when you don’t completely feel like it.

Be interested in the other person’s day.

Expect respect. Give respect.


Nobody is responsible for anyone else’s feelings, but we are all responsible for our own actions and intentions.

“I love to see how you…” is a phrase at least as powerful as “I love you.” We need to be seen, known, AND loved.

Catch each other “being good.”

Pick your battles.

Be clear about choices. Don’t make each other guess what you want.

Look for reasons to celebrate.

Sometimes the day needs a reboot. It’s OK to agree to start over.

Nobody has a right or a need to vent their frustrations on another person. This includes you.

Be able to admit fault and ask forgiveness when you are wrong.

Positive encouragement is usually more motivating than negative reinforcement.

Tackle one problem at a time.

Don’t be embarrassed to be silly together.

Don’t let anxiety or personal insecurity sit in the driver’s seat.

Cherish each other.




Image via https://www.flickr.com/photos/tabithablue/4468187379 

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