Prioritising your spouse, especially in the little daily routines, teaches your children how to respect and honour their mother.

My wife and I were fortunate enough to be volunteers for the Guide Dogs for the Blind organisation in our local state after all our kids had grown up and left school.

Over a period of seven years, we had the pleasure (and to be honest at times the displeasure) of raising five puppies for them. Each one of these puppies had its own unique personalities (just like our kids) and presented its own challenges. In retrospect, those seven years were enjoyable, but in a challenging way.

The program we used with our pups was grounded in the basics of what is acceptable behaviour, both at home and out in the big wide world, and was designed to equip them to navigate the many challenges they will face as a working guide dog.

As I sit here today putting this article together, I look down at our pet dog (the second Guide Dog pup we raised who was withdrawn because of a stubborn streak) curled up at my feet and reflect on how the basics of life we taught each of the pups, correlates with some of the basics of life we need to instil in our kids to equip them for life.

Lesson 1 – Who Do You Greet First?

When we first started doing Guide Puppy raising, we were given a sign to put on the front door with three instructions for all visitors who would come to our house. One of these instructions was:

Please ignore the dog when you come into the house.

So how does this relate to kids and family life? The parallel to this in our family was for me to always greet my wife before I greeted the kids. For the Guide Dog pups, this instruction on the door was a key teaching for the dogs to show them where they fit in the “pack”. While still being an important part of the “family”, they needed to understand that life was not all about them.

In the human family, it is important to create a loving and caring family environment for the kids, and one of the keys to this is to love your wife (and make sure you show the kids you do). By greeting your wife first when you come home from work, or from being out somewhere, you show her how much you honour and respect her for who she is.

Oh, by the way when you do come home, make sure the greeting is enthusiastic as well (much like a dog is enthusiastic and excited when you walk in the door). When the kids see how you treat their mother, they will also learn to respect her as you do.

Kids learn more by what they see you do than what you say to them.

If, however you always greet your kids first, then they will start to believe that they are more important to you than their mother is. That can lead to issues where they will be more willing to obey you than they are their mother and begin to reject what she is saying. By also loving and greeting the kids’ mother first, you are also demonstrating respect for her and in so doing demonstrating to the kids to respect their mother, and women in general.

So, give it a try. Next time you come home from work, sweep your wife off her feet, and give her a big kiss and hug (maybe the kids will initially cringe at the sight), but eventually you will see a difference in their attitude toward their mother as you make this a positive endorsement.

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Photo by Yan Krukov from Pexels.

About the Author: Jeff Boundy

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