When we bring home an adopted child, we do everything we can to make her feel safe and loved. If she’s a baby, we fix up a nursery with all the things that will bring comfort to our new tiny addition. We wrap her in a soft, cozy blanket and sit in a rocking chair to soothe her and make her feel safe. If he’s a little older, we make sure he has a room with a comfy bed where he can feel we care and want him to be happy. We probably have a few balls and cars for him to play with, depending on his age. We make sure he has clothes that fit and maybe even have a super hero on his shirt or pajamas. We do all we can to make our child feel welcomed and loved.

We don’t stop there. We continue to give the child whatever we can to help him or her have the best life possible. These things matter, but they are not at the top of the list. There is something else far more important that we must give our child. It’s a mom and dad who love each other. That is where the real security comes to a child.

Take a look at what is going on in your marriage relationship. Here’s a list of seven things you can do that will help ensure that your child feels he or she is in a home with caring parents who truly love each other.

Seven marital do’s that create security for your children

1. Speak kindly to your spouse. Let your child see this in your everyday communications as husband and wife. Children are very sensitive to loud and insulting remarks. This can be disturbing to a child. On the other hand when they see or hear their parents speaking gently and kindly to each other, it creates a feeling of peace. One side effect is that they will mimic the behavior they see in the parents, whether it be good or bad. Make it good.

2. Handle your disagreements privately and calmly, away from the earshot of your children. If you think they can’t hear arguing through a wall in another room, you are sorely mistaken. Their little ears are sensitive and will pick up on anger in an instant. A report from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationship stated, “While periodic conflict between couples is natural, and something which most children will be exposed to at some point in their lives without necessarily experiencing adverse effects, couple conflict which is frequent, intense and poorly resolved is very harmful.”

Children fear that if their parents are arguing, it means they’re going to get divorced, and that’s frightening to them. It may not be true, but it’s a reality in their minds. So if you’re having disagreements that are beyond expressing your differing opinions in a friendly manner, find someplace away from the house to solve the problem.

3. Let them see you hugging and kissing. This reminds me of the Family Circus cartoon that shows the young children watching their parents kissing in the kitchen. One says to the other, “I feel all warm and happy when I see Mommy and Daddy kissing.” These visible expressions of love between their parents send a message that their mom and dad love each other, and that’s like having a warm, fuzzy blanket wrapped around them.

4. Work together in the household duties. It’s good for kids to see their parents sharing the duties that come with running a home. This will show them what a good marriage is like. If one parent ends up doing all the work while the other parent veges out by the TV or goes somewhere else to “play,” then there is bound to be conflict. Kids can easily pick up on injustice. And believe me when I say they will imitate your behavior. When Dad pitches in to help with household tasks, it shows them what marital cooperation is. It also shows them that they need to pitch in, too. They will be more inclined to be a participating family member when they see this type of parental cooperation happening. Becoming a contributing member of a family creates feelings of security.

5. Pray and attend church together. When your children see you praying together it will bring peace to their souls. Moms and dads need to take turns praying out loud with the family—giving thanks at the dinner table, saying a night-time family prayer together. Even let them catch you doing your nightly couple ritual of kneeling by your bed, holding hands, and praying together. This will bring them more comfort than you’ll ever know.

Along with this, go to church together. If only one parent goes to church and takes the children they will discern that you are not in spiritual harmony. Be united in spiritual matters. Going to church is one way to build that bond. Then when you get the children ready to go, they’ll know you’re not doing it just so they’ll go. They’ll discover that faith in God matters to you and that you enjoy learning about Him together as a family. That can remove mountains of fear from a child’s heart.

6. Talk to each other and listen. Sometimes, couples don’t take the time to talk together. Life gets busy, and they just end up doing the necessities. How can you ever grow close if you don’t share each others dreams and concerns? Impossible. Take time to visit with each other. And listen while your partner is talking. I mean really listen, not just act like it while you’re thinking of what you can say next. No. Just listen and do your best to understand. It’s a gift you can so easily give your spouse. By observing their parents listening to each other your children will learn this skill. And they will see this as one more evidence that Mom and Dad enjoy being together. More security.

7. Keep your mate at the top of your list. Sometimes parents think their children should be at the top of their priority list. They need to be very close, but not on the top. When you honor your spouse by giving her or him priority, that increases love by leaps and bounds. At dinner serve your spouse first; take turns doing this. The kids will see this respect and learn their place. When kids think they are the center of the universe they become selfish and unaware of the needs of others. Love them and care for them, but don’t pamper them. Then when they are out on their own they will be ready to face a world that will definitely not pamper them. That’s security.

Start today

These seven actions can go a long way in bringing a feeling of security to your adopted children who may be dealing with the insecurity of being adopted. The more stability they see at home, the more stability they will feel in their own lives. A happily married mom and dad is one of the most valuable ways you can help make that happen. Give your children this love and security, starting today.