Thursday, February 4, 2010

Marriage & Stress Notes - January 2010

Amy Wesson, a mother of four and parenting teacher for Providence's Bringing Home Baby class shared her thoughts on how to "babyproof" a marriage. Amy also really encourages parents taking the class upon the arrival of their second child, since it is not how-to parent class, but how to build a solid foundation. Here are the top notes:
  • "Ring the bell" when you agree on something - acknowledge when something goes well
  • Build the core strength for times of stress
  • Create a "Love Map" - pretend like you are dating and reask all the simple questions like "What's your favorite color?" or "What kind of animal would you want to be?" Get to know each other anew as parents. You both probably aren't the same as when you first met.
  • "Men are afraid that women will change and women are afraid that men will never change!"
  • During stress you can only deal with top level issues - like survival
  • Try to get out of survival mode in your relationship
  • Create a positive perspective - compliment each other
  • Less worry and fear - let it be
  • Active listening - all ears, no arguing
  • Take time before your baby arrives or when you have support
  • Physically get away sometimes - a quick walk for fresh air can change your view
  • Try to have small stress reducing conversations
  • Treat yourself well - eat well/get exercise
  • Tips for navigating mundane tasks
  • Be conscious about what you are soliciting or bidding - is you nagging going to have a good outcome?
  • Bids - nonverbal, humor, attention, compliments, play, dreaming, shared meaning/purpose
  • Be clear and direct - husbands are not mind readers
  • Notice each other
  • Creating a healthy relationship is the best gift you can give a child
  • John Gottman - 7 habits of a healthy marriage

Keep the conversation going here by commenting, what works for you? what doesn't?

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