Hey loves, hope everyone is having a great week! I am very excited for our next guest expert blogger. With the responsibilities of being a parent, it is very easy to loose sight of your relationship. However, a strong and healthy relationship is the foundation to a happy family. We underestimate the power of observation and the importance of setting a good example for our children. No matter how happy you are in your relationship, there is always room to improve and develop skills that will help navigate you through more difficult times. Sofia Robirosa, owner and director of Infinite Therapeutic Services, explains the importance of affection with our partner and how is benefits our children. We are so happy to welcome Sofia Robirosa, licensed marriage and family therapist, to our FF family. Take it away!!
My two year old daughter, Liah laughs and says: “Again!” when my husband and I give each other a small peck in the lips. I have to say… my heart melts every single time. It almost makes me want to kiss my husband even more to see her this happy!
And I am sure I am not the only one out there that has a similar response from their kids. I have heard from multiple couples that their children grab their hands to get them to hold hands, or similarly get their parents to hug by putting their arms on each other.
In addition to this being the cutest thing (don’t you agree?), there is a real reason why children do this. From the moment children are born, they yearn affection from their parents. Babies seek to nurse seeking comfort and want to be held as much as possible. And even though this might look like “spoiling” a baby, there are true biological benefits to this. A baby regulates their own heart rate to the mothers when he is skin-to-skin with his mother, indicating that through touch the baby experiences safety. Without that feeling of safety, a child may not develop well, even if other needs are provided, such as food and shelter.
I like to observe children because they truly remind me of what’s important in life. My daughter getting happy when she sees me kiss my husband, simply reminds me of the importance of touch and affection in our relationships.
I say that it reminds me of this because there is research that proves this. Research shows that when we are touched by a loved one, it provides a feeling of calmness. It produces oxytocin, which is a neurotransmitter that makes us experience love, confidence, and connectedness. When there is a good production of oxytocin, research shows that it results in lower levels of blood pressure and cortisol (stress-hormone). Isn’t this amazing!!
The beauty of a child reminding her parents to be more affectionate brings us back to basics and shows us that it makes them feel happy to see their parents happy together. We have already discussed why children instinctually ask their parents to be affectionate to one another, but let’s also look at what a child learns when they see their parents close and connected through touch:
- It shows them that you find your spouse as a “safe” person. This is a way of showing your children what healthy relationships look like, and as you have already figured out, children copy your behaviors more than what you tell them to do.
- It shows them that affection is one way to show love to the people we love and trust the most. This is a valuable life lesson that shows that love does not have to be only shown through material things, but through the simplicity of a hug, caressing, or a kiss.
- It shows them that you value your marriage, your partner in life. This can have a wonderful impact on how your children perceive romantic relationships as they grow up. When a child sees that you are not only affectionate to them, but to your spouse as well, it teaches them how to manage more than one relationship without them being in competition: They are both equally but differently important.
We all strive to be the best possible parents. Looking out for the health of our marriage is also a part of parenting.
Have you kissed your spouse today?
To the success of your family!
Your Therapy Friend,