The qualities of the relationship between a husband and wife affect their children's competence in many ways. Some psychologists believe that a good marital relationship provides the primary physical as well as emotional support for parents. As a result, the relationship that exists between the husband and wife affects the couple's parenting behaviours, which in turn has an impact on the adjustment of the children.

For example, studies have shown that a harmonious marriage relationship promotes competence and maturity in their children. Other studies have demonstrated that marital conflict may result in cognitive delay, school difficulties, and antisocial or withdrawn behaviour in children.

Couples who are satisfied in their marriage relationship are more likely to agree about expectations for their children. This provides consistent expectations to the children. In addition, they learn about attachment, love, and security from their early care givers. Parents who model positive relationship behavior contribute to the their children's attitudes toward intimate relationships and long-term relationship stability.
Couples who do not feel supported in the marital relationship may have lower self-esteem and interact differently with their children than their counterparts who have a warm, responsive relationship. This seems to hold true irrespective of whether a family's oldest child is preschool age or in the age group of nine to 13-year-olds.

Developing a Strong Marital Relationship…
We…as educated and mature individuals of the 21st century must stop and think….in what way can we contribute to build a strong marital relationship which in turn will go a long way in the positive upbringing of our children.
Spouses can ….and need to support each other in several ways to bring up their children as confident and mature individuals.

Here are some ways to strengthen the bond of love within the family.

Emotional Assistance

Spouses can act as potential reservoirs for love and affection, providing both comfort and emotional security to one another. Often with us….as human tendency is….self-esteem is hampered and a sense of insecurity exists. Under such moments of pressure, spouses should provide each other with the much required emotional security to handle such situations. This can be the first step to making yourself a successful example for your child to handle similar kind of situations in his life.

Tangible Help

It is no secret that child-rearing can be very demanding, tiring and time consuming. However, spouses can provide important tangible assistance to one another. Sharing household chores, child care, work-related tasks, family and friendship obligations, and community responsibilities reduces individual stress loads and provides mutual support.

Develop Family Rituals

Developing family rituals provides meaning for family interactions and helps clarify roles and responsibilities within the family. Family rituals can be anything from religious observances, such as important festivals, to daily interactions, such as how family members greet one another when someone returns home. Creating and maintaining family rituals on a daily basis is an important part of family life.

Participate in Leisure Activities

Plan leisure activities as a couple that offer plenty of opportunities for communication. The old saying, "The family that plays together, eats together,….stays together," may be partially true. However, research has indicated marital satisfaction is more closely related to good communication during leisure activities.

Go on a Date Once a Month

Plan time alone where talk about the children and work are a big NO. Going on a date doesn't have to cost a lot of money. In fact, it could be as simple as planning a midnight stroll while the children are staying over with friends or relatives.

Listen When Communicating

Many people want nothing more, than the person they care the most about, to really listen to them. Give your partner focused attention so he or she knows his or her comments are top priority. Listen with an attitude of acceptance and willingness to understand. Listen with an attitude that seeks clarification. You may need to ask questions to be assured that you have the correct meaning of the message being sent.

Retain the Passion

A satisfying marriage relationship grows best when a couple nurtures the passion between them. The marital relationship can flourish when the couple creates companionship, makes a lasting commitment, and deepens their passion for one another.

Resolve Conflict

Inevitably, even the best marriages face conflict. When one spouse has been offended by the other, rather than letting a wall go up between the two of them, they must confront the conflict. Usually, resolving conflict requires both seeking forgiveness and granting forgiveness. The final process is working toward reconciliation and rebuilding trust with your partner.

Thus, we, as parents must devote our first energies to developing a strong marriage relationship which has a direct impact on the healthy and positive upbringing of our children.

Copyright © 2007

Author's Bio: 

An aspiring writer on parenting, family and related issues, mother to a four year old.