This brief discusses the impact unmet childhood needs have on adults and on their marriage, and reviews what kind of marriage children must witness to become healthy adults and create a happy marriage of their own. It cites findings from a study that indicates children need an environment infused with reliable warmth, a free flow of communication, and protection from injury. Examples are provided that illustrate a chain of pain that results in grown-up versions of insecure and avoidant children, and strategies are listed for using a marriage to create healthy kids. Strategies include: prioritize your relationship with your partner; express praise, affection, and appreciation for each other in the presence of your children; comfort each other in times of stress, and let your children witness these acts of loving solace; give each other gifts that you have chosen with care; show your full range of feelings, and let your children see how you work them out; while talking together, particularly in times of conflict, take turns reflecting back to each other what you hear; solve problems with each other, and let your kids in on the process; talk to each other about social values and political views, and engage your children in the conversation; do not do anything with or to each other that you do not want your children to learn; and remember, your marriage is a conduit to future generations.
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Good Marriages Make Happy Children.