Research For 'Rents

How happy marriages help make happy kids

Because it’s the Doctor and the Dad’s tenth – that’s right, tenth – wedding anniversary, we thought we’d write a little bit today about love.

happy anniversary
Here’s to bluebirds singing, flowers blooming, and double rainbows filling the sky whenever our eyes meet.

After a full decade of dealing with “real-life” stuff together, like paying bills, taking out the trash and having to smell each other’s stanky breath every morning, we think we’re pretty darn lucky to still be so in love with each other.

And it turns out that makes our children pretty lucky too.

Research shows that happy marriages are great for children’s emotional development. Children of parents with higher marital satisfaction enjoy all sorts of benefits, including more advanced understanding of others’ emotions, greater emotional stability, fewer behavior problems, and better relationships with parents and siblings.

All in all, happier marriages tend to produce happier, better-adjusted kids.

So if getting to spend the rest of your life laughing, loving and lounging around with your very favorite person on the entire planet isn’t enough incentive for you to make taking care of your marriage a priority, you should at least do it – y’know – for the kids.

As our anniversary gift to you, here are a few of our own tips for keeping a marriage healthy (which you’ll find in our funny and informative parenting book, Think Like a Baby: 33 Simple Research Experiments You Can Do at Home to Better Understand Your Child’s Developing Mind):

  • Be nice to each other. Being pleasant and doing nice things for each other throughout the day can help to keep a relationship healthy – the small stuff is important. And remember to be nice even when you’re fighting. Think before you speak and avoid saying anything that will leave a lasting scar.
  • Fake it ‘til you make it. Research shows that the more you smile, the happier you actually begin to feel. The same idea can be applied to your relationship. Go out of your way to treat each other positively and you may actually start to feel more positively toward one another.
  • Don’t undermine each other. You should present a united front to your child. Whenever possible, every decision that is made should be supported by both of you. If Daddy says no TV, then so does Mommy. And vice versa.
  • Think of each other as comrades. Let’s face it, you’re both fighting in the same parental trench and your survival depends on one another. Treat each other with due respect.

These tips come from our own experience as a couple with kids. What tips do you have for keeping a marriage strong?

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