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TAAT, how to help children become good partners?

(14 Posts)
Solasum Sat 20-Feb-16 07:49:16

Inspired by the signs of a bad relationship thread, just wondering if anyone has any advice on making sure DC grow up to be good partners.

Obviously teaching them to be kind to others, and have good manners. Is there more to it than that?

Cabrinha Sat 20-Feb-16 08:09:46

Not putting up with shit from your own partners, so that they always have good relationships modelled to them.

A big factor in the timing of my split was my child getting older and me realising she'd grow up thinking that married people don't touch or kiss or make any little show of affection.

Relationships should be fun and kind and loving, and kids need to see that.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 20-Feb-16 08:12:22

Teaching them to be independent and well able to look after themselves, so they won't need anybody else to do it for them.

Then they can choose a relationship that makes them happy and adds to their life rather than seeking out a skivvy/knight in shining armour.

Theendispie Sat 20-Feb-16 08:15:33

Being able to say how they feel and their wants.

LionHearty Sat 20-Feb-16 08:22:01

Ideally, model it, if in a relationship. If not, and as well as, talk about relationships, what is not acceptable, and that it is not their job to fix their partner.

I tell my kids that being unhappy is a sign that something needs to change. That they need to talk about their feelings.

Yy, to relationships being a place of kindness and fun.

metimeisforwimps Sat 20-Feb-16 08:23:02

My friend told me about the advice her mum gave to her brother when he got married. They are Pakistani and quite traditional so the marriage would have been the start of the relationship. The advice was never to let your wife feel sad and if she cries to whatever it takes to make her stop. Sweet and simple but he took it literally and they are now a lovely family with teenage children.
no doubt setting a good example is the best teaching.

metimeisforwimps Sat 20-Feb-16 08:26:28

Agree about talking about feelings, think it's especially important to help boys with this from a young age as their brains are not as equipped naturally for this as girls. I think a lot of crap behaviour by men is a result of being unable to.express feelings.

ItMustBeBedtimeSurely Sat 20-Feb-16 08:33:56

Teach them to be independent. Be affectionate with them. Don't put up with bad behaviour or laziness from your partner. Be assertive but kind. Try to bring them up with a good work ethic so they can create fulfilling lives for themselves.

BathtimeFunkster Sat 20-Feb-16 08:45:43

if she cries to whatever it takes to make her stop.

That is woeful advice.

velourvoyageur Sat 20-Feb-16 08:55:48

Chores & significant (age appropriate) contribution to the running of the household. They're not helping their parents out, they're doing what they should do because everyone puts in what they can to get the best possible for everyone. Kids are not the royalty of the house, they don't need to be waited on if they can do something themselves & being given responsibility makes you feel capable. Plus if you're used to hard work you won't be so scared by the prospect of it at 18 or whenever you move out. 'De chacun selon ses facultés....' wink

My ex grew up with a household of staff and then later was at boarding school and he had to l.e.a.r.n. (slow fucking process) how to do everything - I fell into the trap of doing everything for him before I realised how not on it was.
My mum, while in a v. happy marriage, also grew up with maids/cooks and she'll leave the kitchen looking like a bombsite after making breakfast etc, expecting my dad to clear up, which I think if he didn't find it funny in a resigned sort of way could become a bone of contention. It was with me when I lived with them anyway!

Even if I do have staff (and kids!) growing up I still think it's vital to teach them what needs to happen to maintain the smooth running of day to day life & to give them hands on experience of this. Of course it's easier not to bother teaching them but that's doing them and future partners a huge disservice IMO (and IME!).

Def agree re: needing to learn how to vocalise feelings and communicate in an emotionally literate way although of course for some it's much easier than for others (alexithymia?).

I also do think it's good for both parties if you know how to be 'quietly confident', as in happy to be assertive without being forceful about it, and feeling comfortable with drawing and keeping boundaries.

And affection (if that's your bag), little kindnesses and thoughtfulness.
good thread smile

Solasum Sat 20-Feb-16 08:58:38

Yes, perhaps 'if she cries for a good reason' rather than if she cries to be manipulative.

This is really interesting, keep it coming flowers

Fidelia Sat 20-Feb-16 14:11:06

I'm trying:

- Telling my boys that we only do things (like kissing) with someone we like if both people are enthusiastic about doing it. That if someone says, "Oh ok then" that's not enthusiastic enough and they probably don't mean it & are just saying it because they think it's what we want to hear.

- Trying to help them be honest about their feelings/wants, and helping them let out anger is a safe way

- We have a rule in this house that no-one is allowed to block a doorway, keep someone in a room or hold a door shut on someone else (preventing them from leaving). If anyone needs privacy/time alone they can say it and we respect that. If someone feels like they need to keep people out, they can go to the loo and lock the door. If someone comes towards a doorway/stairs and anyone is in the way, they move without waiting to be asked....I do NOT want my children using their physical presence to control others.

- I don't pay them to do chores. We all do chores as part of being part of our family & looking after the house. I do not allow them the "helping you" attitude (you know, the one where chores are all my job and they're just being 'nice' by 'helping'). We "pull together" or we "work as a team" to keep the house running.

- I don't clear up after them. I tell them that leaving their mess is really them saying "Mum will tidy up my mess", in their heads. And I remind them that if they make the mess, they tidy it up. I'm held to this too, btw!

- They get the consequences of their poor choices. So if they decide to procrastinate or moan about doing homework, I remind them that they need to do it but it's their choice. However, I will tell their teacher the truth and will not cover for them. Or if they decide to do a chore badly, they get to do it more often/again because I don't want them to learn that they get off doing a chore if they do it badly.

Pilgit Sat 20-Feb-16 23:12:08

Making sure they know that everyone gets the house dirty so everyone cleans it up. No matter how young they are they can have their own jobs to do to make it better for everyone. But not having one rule for them and one rule for you

Apologising to them when you've made a mistake, yelled or done something out of anger so that they see that we're all human and that you shouldn't minimise the impact you have on others when you've done something vile.

ensuring all children learn how to do the basics - cook meals, clean the loo, sew on a button etc.

My PIL raised 3 wonderful men and they did it by modelling a good relationship, my FIL has always done certain chores when he's been there (he was at sea for a lot of the boys' growing up), by recognising the importance of each parents contribution equally and placing importance on supporting each other achieving their dreams.

hopeisfadingfast Sun 21-Feb-16 02:32:28

You could have a look at some of the books detailing the research into good marriages/relationships. The Gottman institute has done some of the most extensive research into what makes a good relationship and what makes a good partner. Emotional intelligence and relationship skills are vital. The ability to cultivate an interest in who your partner is as a person is key. Kindness and good manners alone only go so far.

I'd say an understanding of what emotion work is and the fact that it is often invisible to those who don't know what it is is also essential. Wifework is a great book to have older kids read. It was published in the 90s but most of it sadly still holds true all these years later. The imbalance of emotion work is what breaks a huge number of marriages, which can be hard for those in the marriage to understand if they cannot see when emotion work is actually being carried out. One of the points wifework makes is that Marriage is still the most male dominated institution on the planet and an awareness of this fact would maybe help the next generation make things more fair.

Someone on here recently linked to a blog called mustbethistalltoride and that's also worth a look as it's by a guy who now admits he was a terrible partner while all the time thinking he was a decent one and there are always loads of stories in the comments from others who also thought they were good partners and then came to realise they weren't when their marriages or relationships got into trouble. The comment about "if she cries for a good reason" made me think of this as so so many of the men in the comments lost their partners because they deemed their crying not to be for a good reason, and so they ignored it. You probably need to teach them what abuse is - make sure they know the full range of potential behaviours to help with this kind of thing.

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