Do you want your child to grow up to be a single parent? Even the single mom whose life is perfectly put together would probably say no. The road to where you are was bumpy and at times, pretty painful, and who would want their kids to go through that? So are you teaching your children about marriage to help set them up for success?
Maybe you don’t feel like enough of an expert on the subject. Good news: You don’t have to be! In fact, your missteps can be great teaching opportunities. Here are 3 things to remember when you’re teaching children about marriage.
Be open with them.
Have you talked with your kids yet about why you and their dad aren’t together? Part of teaching children about marriage is having discussions about respect, cooperation, and love and they might wonder how your relationship went awry. I encourage you to be open and honest, and age-appropriate, of course. Explain where you went wrong, being sure to guard their hearts with your words too.
Take ownership of your mistakes.
Please don’t put all the blame on Dad, even if he is the one who filed for divorce. It takes two to make a marriage work and there is quite possibly fault on both ends. Make the decision early to set all bitterness and resentment aside so healing can take place. Doing this will give you a much clearer picture of your mistakes as well, and the chance to correct them to the best of your ability.
Remember why you are doing this.
Going back to whether you want your child to grow up to be a single parent, I hope you would say, “Absolutely not!” The question then becomes this: What are you willing to do to invest in your children and teach them what marriage is truly meant to look like? Are you able to set personal pain aside for the greater good of your children? That’s what parenting is all about.
Mom, you are fully capable of nurturing your children in this crucial area of their lives. Cheer for marriage. Speak highly of marriage whenever you have the opportunity. Teach your daughter about being a good wife and what to look for in a husband. Raise your son to be the man his future wife can depend on and what qualities to seek in his bride.
And when you see a couple that is modeling what a healthy marriage is, kneel down toward your child, point the couple out, and whisper in your child’s ear, “That’s what I want for you someday.”
What other ways can single moms succeed in teaching children about marriage?