One of the most important lessons I've learned* as a husband of one wife and father of eight children, is that young children need to have a visible demonstration that Daddy loves Mommy, and Mommy loves Daddy. Moreover, children need to understand that the Husband-Wife love relationship takes top priority in the family.
I could literally graph the direct relationship between our young children sleeping soundly at night, and my wife and I spending 15 minutes face to face with one another, when I arrive home, before I spend time playing with our children.
When we fail to spend what some people call "Couch Time" (at our house it's known as "Mom and Dad Time") a late night rap at our bedroom door is a near certainty. The foregoing analysis prompted me to pen the following verses. If you've ever been dragged from a sound sleep by the need to attend to your young child's "bad dream" etc..., I hope you'll embrace the hard-learned wisdom that follows.
When late at night you hear the sound of little feet approaching
You know upon your sweet repose they soon will be encroaching
When little ones perceive that Mom and Daddy's love is slouching
Because they haven't seen you spending ample time a' couching
They may awake, traverse the house and climb into your bedding
Until you woefully lament the sleep you aren't getting
If by a simple recipe you could avert this poaching
Then would you at my word accept a bit of parent coaching?
Come home and first embrace your wife, then squeeze her like a melon
Ignore the kids, although they may be pestering and yellin'
For fifteen minutes let them wait, disdaining all their cries
Sit with your wife upon the couch and gaze into her eyes.
Copyright 2002 Larry Naselli
*We learned this lesson through the agency of Gary & Ann Marie Ezzo of Growing Families International, to whom we are immensely grateful for their positive influence on our family life.