The Toddler's Guide to a Happy Marriage

When my son was a toddler, I learned so much about happy relationships. It seemed most of the advice I offered could be applied to my relationship with my husband. Think about it:

Use gentle hands please. Hands are for hugging.

If you want someone to leave you alone, say “No thank you.”

Use your listening ears.

Talk in your indoor voice.

Use your words.

I don’t know about you, but if I followed just those five rules every day, I don’t think my husband and I would ever fight. And if I treated my husband like my then-toddler used to treat me — running to greet him with a huge hug, kissing good-bye, saying “I love you” at every turn — we’d have an extraordinary relationship. It got me thinking. Toddlers know a lot about love. They have a lot to teach us, don’t they? That’s why I asked some friends to pose the following question to their kids, “What do you need to have a happy marriage?” Here’s how their children answered that question.

  • A Toddler’s Guide to a Happy Marriage 1 of 7

    What does it take to stay happily married? Children know best.

  • If Love Is the Question, Cake Is the Answer 2 of 7

    That's the consensus of Bronwynn, age 5. When asked what you need to have a happy marriage, she said, "Well, you just eat some cake every day and wear your wedding rings." Of course, right?

    Photo credit: Gina DeMillo Wagner

  • All You Need Is Love 3 of 7

    The Beatles sure had it right, according to Aurora, age 5. "Love and friends," she says are two ingredients for a happy marriage. "And to love each other and you've already met. And having a happy life. And having some flowers for him or her."

    Photo credit: Marissa Weir

  • Kiss in a Tree. Then Have Babies. 4 of 7

    That's what Zachary, age 7, and Gabriella, age 5, say all couples should do. To be happy, couples should "fall in love when they first see each other. And then they have babies and fall in love more," says Zachary. "And they kiss a lot," adds Gabriella, age 5.

    Photo credit: Rebecca Buscemi

  • Dance Every Night Away 5 of 7

    This is a child after my own heart. To have a happy marriage, you need lots of "eating and dancing," says Marin, age 5. So don't reserve it only for your wedding day. Celebrate a little every day.

    Photo credit: Elizabeth Shimer Bowers

  • Wrap Yourselves in Warmth 6 of 7

    When Victoria McGrath asked her daughter Sarah Schultheis, 2, about the secret to a happy marriage, the toddler yelled, "Blankies!" Truly, I think blankies are the secret to everything. Don't you?

    Photo credit: Victoria McGrath

  • Think About It 7 of 7

    Share your child's wisdom with others.

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Article Posted 2 years Ago
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