Parenting is a tough job, there is no job tougher. While we worry about the day to day minutiae, we have to keep in mind what our own actions are teaching.
One area which I feel I've failed in completely is modeling the type of relationship I want my children to have in their future. So a few words of advice from someone who's done it the wrong way but still has time to get it right.
Moms and Dads:
Are you appreciative to your mate? Do you say thank you when he/she cooks or helps with chores? A little thank you goes a long way and shows your children that manners and appreciation are important.
Do you make little digs at your partner in front of the children about his/her weight, dress, or behavior? When doing so, you are teaching your children that this is how to treat a man or woman and that if someone treats them this way, it's okay. It makes you stop and think, doesn't it?
Do you show affection in front of your children? I'm not talking about a full on make-out session...I'm talking about a kiss, holding hands, and showing that you love your mate. Consider how this will play out in their future. You want them to be with someone who loves them unconditionally. Show them what that looks like.
Watch your children. Do you see your actions reflected in theirs? While they are young is the time to change what is in the mirror. While you may say the right words, your actions speak so much louder. Show them the relationship you pray that they have.