How to Stay Lovers While Raising Children

The best gift you can ever give your children is a loving relationship with your mate.

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By: Dr. Ellen Kreidman, Ph. D.

"The best gift you can ever give your children is a loving relationship with your mate. The happiest, most well-adjusted children come from a home where mommy and daddy love each other." Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D.

I have asked hundreds of couples who are still in love with each other and whose children are happy and well-adjusted, the secret of their wonderful relationship. Although each couple may say it differently, the bottom line is always the same. Their relationship has been, is, and always will be, their top priority.

Even couples with five or six children seized the chance to make love when the baby took a nap or when the older children were in school. These happy couples are the ones who would hire a baby-sitter so they could go to a movie, for a walk or have a romantic dinner alone.

They are the ones who would trade baby-sitting with a neighbor so they could spend a weekend alone together. As the children got older, these parents taught their children to respect their privacy when the bedroom door was closed.

These were not terrible, selfish parents. On the contrary, theirs was the healthy, normal behavior of a couple who respected their own sexuality and valued the romantic love they shared.

The ideas below may seem far-fetched to some people but I have incorporated every single one of them in my own life. After 37 years of marriage, I am still in love with my husband and have raised 3 happy, healthy, well-adjusted children.

1. A 10 Second Kiss Everyday - A peck on the cheek says, "I love you," but a 10 second kiss says, "I'm still in love with you!"

2. A 20 Second Hug Everyday - When giving a hug, focus on sending love from your heart. It takes at least 5 seconds to block out all the outside distractions and another 15 seconds to exchange that loving energy with one another.

3. A 5 Second Compliment Everyday - When your head hits the pillow at night, ask yourself, "Did I make my mate feel good today? Did I give a compliment? If the answer is NO, you owe your mate two the next day.

4. 30 Minutes of Dialogue Everyday - Share your day. You need to spend 30 minutes of uninterrupted time talking to each other every day. If you don't, then the days become weeks, and weeks become months and before you know it, you're sitting across from a stranger thinking, "I don't know you"!

5. Date Night Once a Week - It doesn't matter where you go, as long as it's just the two of you. You have 6 other evenings to be with your family and friends. This is your special night together.

6. Schedule Intimate Time Together on the Calendar - We put doctor and dentist appointments on the calendar. We even schedule car maintenance on the calendar. We also need to put the person who means the most to us on the calendar.

7. Do Something Spontaneous Every 6 Months - Inside every man there's a little boy and inside every woman there's a little girl waiting to come out and play. The man or woman who knows how to be playful is a joy in someone's life.

8. Once Every 3 Months Schedule an Overnight Stay at a Hotel - Everyone goes on a honeymoon. A mini-moon every three months is very important. You have to stop seeing each other as mommy and daddy and instead as lovers. Many hotels have inexpensive get-away packages. It will renew your mind, body and spirit and give you more energy when you return.

9. Once a Year Take a One Week Vacation - You can be very creative so that it doesn't cost a lot of money. You can make an agreement with a friend to exchange babysitting once a year. You can stay home and pretend you are at a resort. Having breakfast in bed, taking long walks, and just connecting in way that is not possible with your children there, fortifies your relationship for another year. Camping is another possibility. Going for hikes, eating whenever you want, sitting around the campfire, makes you more patient and relaxed when you return.

10. Make a "Do Not Disturb" Sign for Your Door. Explain to your children that mommy and daddy need time alone. Help your children make a sign for their door as well.

Learning how to put fun, romance and communication in your relationship will form a solid foundation for your children. Remember, if you don't have a love affair with your mate, someone else will!

Ellen Kreidman, Ph.D. is a highly acclaimed relationship expert. She is the author of the Best Selling Programs "Light His Fire- How to Keep a Man Hopelessly and Passionately in Love with You" and "Light Her Fire- How to Ignite Passion and Excitement in the Woman You Love." For more information on an alternative to marriage counseling visit her website,

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