Parents: The Sweet Reason Your Kids Need To See You Act Lovey-Dovey With Your Spouse

PDA that is PG-rated makes kids (and married couples) HAPPIER!

parents being affectionate with baby Jacob Lund / Shutterstock

Studies show that parental PDA is not only good for your marriage, it's also EXTREMELY beneficial for your child's development. In a "Happy, Healthy Sex In Marriage" survey, 94 percent of our YourTango experts agreed that "hugging, holding hands, quick peck kisses" are beneficial for the kids to see. "Prolonged embraces" are also A-OK. 

When you and your partner show affection in front of your kids, they feel safe and secure. Some of the main benefits that children receive when they see sweet displays like daddy kissing mommy:

  • Kids worry less about your relationship status when they witness your love for each other.
  • Kids are happier when they're raised in homes that show PG-rated affection. 
  • Kids learn what a healthy relationship looks like.

If it's so good — why is it so HARD to do?

RELATED: No Affection Killing Your Relationship? How To Save An Affection-Starved Marriage

It's hard to switch between "daddy and mommy" and "husband and wife" roles. In fact, it's difficult to imagine how those two roles could coexist. Not only are we tired by the end of the day, we also live in a society that puts a lot of pressure on perfect parenting.


As we focus on parenting well, we often forget the impact a simple act like kissing our partner has on our marriage, home life, and ultimately on our children.

A Couple of PDA Guidelines to Calm Your Concerns:

The basic rule of thumb is, don't do anything that you wouldn't feel comfortable seeing your (or any) teenager do.  

That means that hugs, holding hands, sweet pecks, and snuggles on the sofa are all fair game.  On the flip side, don't be overly sexual during dinner prep or talk dirty to each other as you drive your kid to T-ball. That's NOT acceptable. Your five-year-old is unable to comprehend the message being sent out and it will only confuse your child. So keep it clean and keep it sweet.  


It's been SO long, where do we begin?

RELATED: 18 Signs Your Partner Is Touch Starved & Needs More Attention

If you're like most parents trying to do everything "right," it's probably been a while since you have attempted to combine the two contrasting roles. This can make things seem a little awkward to start, like having your boss show up to a happy hour and not knowing how to act.  

In order to get yourselves acclimated to the new marital temperature I want you to set your alarm 15 minutes early and meet your partner in the middle of the bed for a pre-day snuggle session. Do this for seven days and you'll literally feel the bond between the two of you deepen.  


How is this supposed to help with PDA?

When we touch our partners we get a release of the hormone oxytocin, the relationship glue. So the more that we touch, the more connected we feel. Think back to a morning after a great "date night."  You both woke with more pep in your steps and a sparkle in your eyes. You can gain the same effect with some simple snuggling.

The Snuggle Effect

What you will notice is that you'll become more drawn to each other. You'll seek out little kisses, "small of your back" rubs, and prolonged gazes. The dynamic completely changes and your children will be in the room to lap up the innocent puppy love.

Once you reignite your desire, you two will see each other with fresh eyes. He'll regain the title of your beau and you'll transform back into his "girl." Exchanging little affections will become so natural, that you can do it as you wipe the snot from your toddler's nose. 


Old Habits Die Hard 

RELATED: 15 Beautiful Reasons To Ditch The Kiss And Get Your Hug On

Even though you now know the great benefits of sharing PDA in front of your kids, you'll slip back into your old ways. That's okay and totally normal! The truth is, old habits die-hard. As soon as you realize you two have rocked the parent roles but neglected the couple's roles, simply reset your alarm clock!  

Your ids Deserve to Experience a Real Love Stor


Show your kids that fairy tales don't just happen on the big screen. They're created when you do the dishes or as you watch them put on an armature play night in your living room. When they see you two connect they'll experience that ooey-gooey feeling we all do when the "guy gets the girl" in our favorite rom-coms.

You're Creating a Legacy 

When you step up and step out of your roles, as just parents, you'll teach your kids what a healthy relationship looks like. This will be a lesson that they will, then, repeat in their future relationships.

Jessica Miller is the author of Back 2 Love and How to Start a Mental Health Private Practice. Check out her YouTube channel, Super Living for more relationship tips.