My husband and I cook dinner together almost every night. I never thought much about this -- other than to be really, really grateful for both the collaboration and the companionship -- until one day I overheard our daughters, ages 4 and 6, playing house with their friends. Our girls had appointed themselves the parents, and their two friends were the "kids." All was going along swimmingly until it was time to prepare their imaginary meal.
"The dad doesn't cook!" laughed one of the friends, pointing to my older daughter as she popped a plastic casserole into the oven.
"Yeah, you're right," said the other.
"Yes, he does!" my daughters roared back in unison, running to me and begging me to set the record straight.
My husband and I help our daughters understand concepts like "choices" and "consequences" and reinforce positive behaviors. But in that moment, I realized that our very marriage was presenting them with a set of values and beliefs that they would go on to believe were "right," for better (as in this case) or worse.