Model healthy relationship

5 Healthy Relationship Behaviors to Model for Your Children

Did your parents model a good example of what a healthy relationship looked like?

If you are a child of divorce, chances are your parents displayed some combination of either, a contentious, abusive, indifferent or otherwise broken relationship. Being raised in that type of environment has likely impacted your understanding of what a healthy marriage looks like. As well as your ability to trust what a respectful relationship is like. If that is the case, how can you break that cycle?


How do you model what a healthy marriage looks like for your children?


  • Communication – The is the #1 spice of the “healthy relationship” recipe. Clear, honest and RESPECTFUL communication is the cornerstone of any successful relationship. This means that despite how you may be feeling in the moment, you avoid yelling, accusations and name calling. Your responses should be full of ‘I’ statements, love and consideration. There are disagreements in every relationship and it is okay to disagree with your partner, however in those situations it is important to avoid using sarcasm, anger and any disrespectful “tone” in your reactions. When you model these skills for your children, you are teaching them how to positively resolve conflict.


  • A lifetime investment – Just as you invest in your relationship with your children, you want to invest in your bond with your partner; maybe even a little more. Make it a point to show consideration for your partner by saying ‘please’, ‘thank you’ and by asking them for their opinion often. Spend time doing mundane “everyday” tasks together like washing dishes, making dinner or going grocery shopping. Lastly, make it a point to intentionally spend a few moments on your “daily” hellos and goodbyes.


  • “Let no child set asunder”, always present a united front for your children – Picture your partnership as a solid bond in which each partner is equal! Both in importance and power. When appropriate, decisions are made and enforced as a unit. Each of you providing equal support to the other. If and when you don’t see eye to eye on an issue, acknowledge and respect that your partner is just as entitled to their opinion, thoughts and beliefs as you are to yours. Calmly discuss each viewpoint with an open mind and an understanding heart.


  • Celebrate your love – Actively invest in your relationship, which you will be doing in little ways by following the above examples. But hey, why not “kick it up a notch” and make it fun? Do this by going out on dates! And NO, not those dreaded out of obligation “date nights”! More like the dates you used to have before you got married with a genuine desire to enjoy each other’s company. I know, scandalous! Lastly, celebrate the heck out of your anniversary! Remember your honeymoon?! Whoever made that a one-time event had marriage ALL wrong! While you don’t have to go all out with a European tour every year, you should at least spend the night and/or weekend of your anniversary ALONE someplace without the kids. Yes, every year!


  • Be one with your inner vixen – For the sake of all that is holy, flirt with your partner! Let your children and the world know you are happily in love. It’s perfectly ok to demonstrate what appropriate (and maybe even only slightly inappropriate) public displays of affection between adults should look like. When it’s done right, it only shows the magic of a successful relationship. And if you really want to get crazy, compliment and thank one another daily for the “little things” as well as the big ones. Last and definitely not least, don’t forget to laugh together as a couple and as a family. Laugh a lot and do it often!


Do you want help with the transitioning from marriage to divorce with integrity?  Contact me today to schedule your complimentary 30 minute Chaos to Calm Power Session


This or any advice that has been given by Heather Debreceni is not meant to replace or superseded the advice of your attorney or the acting family therapist involved in your case and does not constitute legal or psychological counseling.
About The Author

Heather Debreceni

In 2004, after getting a job in Law Enforcement, Heather left her husband and started the divorce process. Like many mothers in her situation, she naively thought that getting divorced would be the end of the chaos that her failing marriage had created in her and her children’s lives. She now uses her divorce experience to create strategic divorce coaching programs which help mothers turn the chaos of divorce into confident, calm and respect filled lives. Heather is the Founder and Host of the Empowered Divorce Summit which empowers individuals as they navigate through the divorce process. Now a podcast, it provides listeners with access to insightful interviews with experts on divorce, relationships and parenting. She is also an Ordained Non-Denomination Christian Reverend as well as a student of the Buddhist & First Nationals faith and spirituality. Heather supports her clients as they walk through the spiritual rebirth that occurs for many women after divorce. Heather also tours around the country with her family giving talks about Divorce, Ethics, Parenting, Personal Responsibility, Spirituality and Women's Empowerment as well as teaching about Leadership, Business and Entrepreneurship.

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