On this episode of the Win the Day podcast, Becky sits down with Dawn and Ray Martinez to talk about building strong relationships with your kids while raising respectful and successful children.
Ironically, Dawn and Ray initially decided not to have children once they were married. A moment of clarity and shift of perspective changed that. Now, they have two amazing children: Dillon and Devin, and have been married for over 29 years. Devin is now 21 and attending chiropractic school, and Dillon is now 25 and has been happily married for four years. Dawn and Ray also open up about their experience dealing with infertility and miscarriages, providing valuable insight on how others can successfully deal with similar situations.
Intentionality in Relationships
For couples with children, Ray explains how important it is for expectations and communication to be clear and on the same page for both people in a relationship. In their marriage, success in resolving issues has come when the problem is brought up early in an appropriate context, and not “letting it go” for too long, which inevitably makes the problem worse.
Being intentional when choosing words and actions is incredibly important as they have meaning and long lasting impact on others, especially on children coming from parents. Ray notes how he puts this idea into practice by taking his daughter out to a weekly lunch and he intentionally carves out time for him and his wife to continue to date each other. In fact, he doesn’t just carve out the time, Ray plans a night fully so he and his wife can spend time together nurturing their relationship, also giving her the night off on any stress or planning responsibilities.
Increasing selflessness has been a central growth point of parenting for Ray and goes hand in hand with being intentional. This meant giving up personal time and archery hunting in order to spend time with his kids, doing or supporting activities his children enjoyed. The couple is also intentionally available to their children and each other. If they don’t want to chat about their day or have conversation, as parents, the couple attempts to be an always available, safe and supportive space for their children even if they don’t need it. Providing an always open ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on can go a long way in strengthening relationships.
Gems from this Episode
Becky: “What kind of mindset shift or values do you try to put in place to be mindful of the trajectory of raising great adults?”
Dawn: “ I think one of the biggest things, is learning that we do have to let go. We have to give up some of that control because it’s very, very important for our kids to be trusted and to be put into situations where they can grow. Because we want them to be leaders. We want them to feel confident in who they are and who they’re growing and maturing into. It’s allowing them freedom, even when it’s scary. Holding our kids back is not going to do anybody any good, even though with every ounce of your being as a mom, that’s what you want to do.”
“Giving our kids freedom, making them feel confident in that, not expecting perfection, I think is also big because as well. I think we can paint a picture of this perfect world in this perfect life, but it certainly doesn’t always go that way.”
Other notable moments:
Ray: “I think that we’re not always going to get it right, but there’s nothing, I think, worse than holding onto guilt. So we have to let that go and learn from it and move forward.”
Dawn: “You’ll never experience your highest of highs or your lowest of lows until you’ve had children.”
Becky: “Parenting has been for me, one of the biggest refinement tools for my own growth because you’re constantly aware of your temper, your lack of patience, your low energy, or your high energy.”