Par­ent­ing Con­nec­tions

The Fun Way to "Work" on your Re­la­tion­ship

Westcoast Families - - Wcf Feature - Par­rish Wil­son Par­rish Wil­son is founder of Two Hearts+, chang­ing the way cou­ples par­ent to­gether. Teach­ing you what you re­ally need to know to make it work: com­mu­ni­ca­tion, team­work and how to stay con­nected as a cou­ple. For more in­for­ma­tion, go to www.pa

wWarm nights... Care-free days... Back­yard BBQs... Sounds like a per­fect recipe for fam­ily fun. This sum­mer you prob­a­bly have plenty of day trips and week­end ad­ven­tures planned for the lit­tle ones – wa­ter­parks, camp­ing, the Night Mar­ket, and lo­cal beaches top the list of ac­tiv­i­ties for most fam­i­lies in the Lower Main­land dur­ing the beau­ti­ful months of July and Au­gust. But what about you and your sweetie? Have you planned some spe­cial ways to cel­e­brate the sea­son with your spouse? Sum­mer is a won­der­ful time to rein­vig­o­rate a re­la­tion­ship that may have taken a hit due to the de­mands of your pint-sized loved ones. It’s nor­mal for your re­la­tion­ship to slide down the pri­or­ity list when you be­come par­ents. With day­care, school trips, end­less laun­dry and bed­times to co­or­di­nate, giv­ing a lit­tle lovin’ to your part­ner-in-crime may seem like just an­other task on the to-do list. None­the­less, main­tain­ing your re­la­tion­ship is a must if you want to weather the storms of par­ent­hood and en­joy the spe­cial mo­ments to­gether for a long time to come. One of the best ways you can strengthen or re­new your re­la­tion­ship is to spend some time hon­our­ing your shared val­ues. Shared val­ues are what orig­i­nally brought the two of you to­gether and what led you to start a fam­ily. “Shared val­ues…. Hmmm…. That sounds a lit­tle touchy feely. I don’t think my hubby will re­ally go for that.” But shared val­ues are ac­tu­ally easy to iden­tify and a lot of fun to in­cor­po­rate into your lives. Here are some com­mon ones: hu­mour, beauty, ad­ven­ture, cul­ture, fit­ness, health, friend­ship. When you take the time to hon­our your shared val­ues now (even though you’re busy par­ents) you feed your re­la­tion­ship in mean­ing­ful and fun ways. To help dis­cover your shared val­ues take a mo­ment and ask each other th­ese ques­tions: 1. When do you feel at your best? 2. What were your favourite things to do to­gether be­fore you had kids? 3. What new ac­tiv­ity or ad­ven­ture have you been dream­ing about? Th­ese ques­tions may take you on a trip down mem­ory lane or lead you to dream up fu­ture goals and plans. Ei­ther way, the ideas that come from th­ese ques­tions will show you what you value as in­di­vid­u­als and which val­ues you share as a cou­ple. So when you fi­nally man­age to fi­na­gle some time away from the kids, don’t spend it do­ing “what­ever”. Make the time re­ally spe­cial and plan an ac­tiv­ity that hon­ours your val­ues. There’s no ex­cuse for bor­ing date nights! Spice it up and in­vest in your re­la­tion­ship with ac­tiv­i­ties that you are both pas­sion­ate about. Re­la­tion­ships do take work but that work can be fun! Spend some qual­ity time do­ing ac­tiv­i­ties that bond the two of you, bring­ing you closer to­gether as a cou­ple, not just as par­ents. Happy par­ents raise happy kids!

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