In my opinion, it is never too early to start talking to children about how they should be treated in a relationship. Here are a few things that I would want them to think about before get into a relationship with someone.
1. Would you be proud if your child ended up just like your significant other?
Ever had a song stuck in your head because someone around you was singing it? As easy as we pick up a song, we also pick up habits, language, mannerisms values, behaviors, and attitudes. The world is filled with lots of people who thought they could raise their child to be different from the other parent. My motto: Don’t ever date, “pass time with”, or marry someone if you couldn’t stand the thought of your child turning out to be exactly like them.
2. Do they bad mouth their ex?
A healthy relationship begins with a person who understands how they contributed to the end of their past relationships. A person who talks badly about their ex hasn’t moved beyond their past. It is extremely difficult to build a future based on a foundation of anger or bitterness that hasn’t been released.
3. Do they apologize when they are wrong?
There isn’t a person alive who is perfect. We all unintentionally make mistakes and hurt other people. In a relationship, both people have to be accountable for what they say, what they do, and how it impacts their significant other. Ask yourself if this is someone who looks within themselves to determine how they can improve the relationship by owning up to their mistakes. Constantly blaming others or refusing to apologize is a sign that a person is not accountable for their own actions.
4. Do they respect your family and friends?
The way that a person treats your friends and family is directly related to how they will treat you. If they talk about your friends or disrespect your family members, they will most likely do the same to you. Your friends and family are an extension of who you are. Choose someone who loves your friends and respects your family, not someone who would rather not have them around. A healthy partner welcomes the people you love into their lives instead of making them feel unwelcome.
5. Do they want to have kids?
Don’t ever expect to change someone’s mind about kids. If you disagree on whether you want to have kids, this is not an issue that will ever go away. It will insert itself in your most intimate conversations, hide under the surface, and then reappear when you least expect it. Whether or not you want kids, make sure your partner is someone who shares your view on children. If they already have them, how they raise their own children will serve as an example of what kind of parent they will be in the future.
6. Do they know how to set and meet goals?
There is a huge difference between accomplishing goals and dreaming about them. Choose someone who is a doer and not just a dreamer. Someone who has follow-through is much more likely to keep their word in both their personal and professional lives.
Are there any other issues or topics that you would want your children to think about?