Your children see and know more about your relationship than what you think. For children, it's not necessary that they know details about your marital problems because they pick up on the emotional cues of your relationship. Even if there isn't any domestic violence (physical or emotional) in your relationship, this does not mean that your children are not negatively impacted by the kind of relationship you and your spouse has. Your relationship is a point of reference for your children, so the kind of relationship you have with your spouse sets up the framework for what a relationship should look like for your children. If you have ever felt like your spouse is starting to become like your father or you are starting to act your mother, this is the reason why. Our parent's relationship imprints in our mind and they way we engage in our relationship reflects the parent we associate with. Having a happy relationship with our spouse will not only benefit us, but also our children.
Your children will benefit from a happy relationship in many ways. When children see their parents happy, they tend to be less anxious, better able to concentrate, better able to cope, and feel more safe in their environment. They tend to have better relationships with family members and peers as well. While the contrary is true for children who have unhappy parents.
So what gifts can you and your spouse give your children this year? I have three suggestions you can choose from. You can pick one or all three. Give your children the gift of affection. This means showing physical affection towards your spouse (kiss, hug, holding hands) or verbal affection (praises, verbal support). Next you can give the gift of stress management. Demonstrate to your children how to deal with stress (when it comes from your spouse and others) and staying positive under stress. Lastly, you can give the gift of cooperation/teamwork. Model to your children how to get along with others despite disagreements, or how to stick together despite differences in opinion. Your children may not ever thank you for these gifts, but they will always remember them.