You are your kids’ best and most trusted teachers. When you and your spouse are together in front of them, take the opportunity to show them what a happy, loving relationship should look like. They’re going to be totally grossed out, but it’ll leave a lasting impression on them.
Here’s what to do:
1. Butterfly kisses
Show your kids that special way you tell your husband you love him. It could be butterfly kisses or tickle fights or just good old fashioned kissing. The kids are going to roll their eyes and probably run out of the room, but they’ll know you love each other (which is a much stronger emotion than gagging).
Tag team showing affection to your kids. Corner your kids and smash their cheeks with kisses.
2. I hope you dance
On a sappiness scale from one to ten, dancing with your spouse in front of the kids is only about a level four. They may even not leave the room. What luck! Spontaneously turn on some slow dancing music in the living room and dance like you did when you had just met. If you want to up the sappiness level two points, sing the lyrics to your spouse. The kids will note that this is what a loving relationship looks like.
Mix things up with a spontaneous family dance party. If the kids refuse to join in, at least make sure they see you and your spouse cutting loose to your favorite tunes – together.
3. Hold hands
Speaking of good relationships, hold hands with your spouse whenever you have the opportunity! It’s much less in-your-face than the first point on this list, which means it’s much more likely that the kids stick around. It shows that even though you might just be sitting around watching Netflix, you’re still a team. It shows your kids that love doesn’t have to die (as it does in too many cases).
4. Use pet names
Ew, gross. Pumpernickel. Snuggle Buns. Butter Dumpling.
These names will drive your kids mad, but I bet you anything they’ll be using some of them when they get older. Use them often and in a variety of situations. Show that any interaction with the one you love is not so trivial as to not merit affection.
5. Group hugs
AKA the Vice Grip of Love or the Anaconda Squeeze. With your spouse, capture each child and trap them in your arms. Lock them each in a group hug they’ll never forget. The sappier you make it (throw in some kisses), the more they’ll resist.
At the end of the day
, your kids need to know that you two are doing alright. They need to know that your relationship is strong and that the family is solid. Too many kids worry about their families falling apart when, instead, they should be worrying about multiplication tables and notes from their classroom crush. Yes, they may already assume you and your spouse love each other, but knowingand assuming are two very different words. Show them.