Healthy Relationships

October 22, 2018, admin

Healthy relationships have become more important to me as I get older. When thinking about healthy relationships, they stem from early childhood. No one really talked to me about what a healthy relationship and unhealthy relationship look like. When I became a mom, I was in very difficult place and was, honestly, just trying to survive. Being a young mother is hard: you question so many things: your value as a person, your worth, what you should have done differently.

Reflecting has made me really think about what a healthy relationship looks like, and what I would like to teach my sons. Healthy relationships truly start with ourselves as individual people. I acknowledge that I have been in the survival mindset of providing food, housing, clothing, and extracurricular activities, but there is more to being a mom. These things are essential, but they shouldn’t be used as proof of a mother’s love. To me, showing love looks like giving time, patience, being intentional, helping nurture and grow a healthy child social-emotionally, so that they can truly believe in themselves and gain self-confidence. In order to teach my children healthy relationships, I myself need to be a healthy person — not just physically, but also emotionally — and engage with others in a respectful, patient, and caring way. Knowing how to set boundaries, what to tolerate and not tolerate, is something I have learned as an adult.

Boundaries and tolerance can be taught to children through routine, role modeling, and consistency. What we allow and tolerate for ourselves, our children take in for themselves. I’m very caring and can be a pushover. My oldest son. Karson, knows that, and he likes to test my limits. Many times when it is bedtime, and I state that I will read him two books, he tries to test my boundaries and ask for five books. In a psychology class, I learned that children do better with clear expectations, consistency, and firm limits while still having their emotions validated. I explained to him that while I respect his enthusiasm for reading, we could only read two books because of bedtime constraints.

For a long time, I believed that my life was perfect and I didn’t need help. I am naturally very independent, and I have a survival instinct for not facing the truth and, consequently, not asking for help when I need it. Luckily, I have been able to have a supportive community and have recognized that parents need help too. In fact, it is normal for everyone! There is no shame nor judgement in seeking out information. I am so thankful to have been able to! Seeking out resources takes recognition that you would like to learn. If you have a learning mindset, accessing information and resources, or attending a parenting class, will be easy.

As we are born into this world, every single person we interact with influences us, beginning with our mothers. You see, I had a difficult relationship with my mother. I now understand my mother in more ways than I could imagine. I examined my relationship with her, and I thought about the things that I enjoyed and the things I would change. I know my mom did the absolute best that she could given her circumstances and resources. I am thankful for her.

At the end of the day, being a mom is exactly what I was intended to be. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a mom. Motherhood has made me more understanding, empathetic, patient, and learn much more about myself in the neatest way possible. I am a better person because of motherhood. I hope my sons can be the best people they can be with self-care, self-acceptance and self-control. I hope to teach my children many lessons, such as focusing on the things that really matter, so they become solid, well-rounded adults who take their time to process and make healthy decisions and not impulsive ones.

Happy Parenting!


Self-reflection questions:

What characteristics does a healthy individual have?

  •  Examples: Self-awareness, flexible, patient, good communicator

What qualities does a healthy relationship have?

  • Examples: Individuality, trust, compromise

How do you process your emotions?

  • Examples: Identifying, take a few days to process, journal, self-reflect, meditate