Someone asked me this question about a year ago. My answer surprised me. (I don’t know if it’s original, or if I had just read it somewhere.)
The answer: “Our kids learn many things from many teachers. Their schools are wonderful. Their beloved summer camp is among the greatest of teachers. Our kids teach each other. And their mother is a great teacher and role model. But what am I teaching them? I’m teaching them the only thing that only I can teach them: how to treat a spouse.”
Hopefully, I’m teaching this well. I’m not the Perfect Spouse, to be sure. How will I know if I’ve taught this well? Perhaps, it will be expressed in the quality of person each child chooses to marry.
I’m trying to set a minimum standard for spousal quality. That is, I hope that our children pick spouses who are no less than I am.
Happily, there is a vast pool of spouses who are better than I. Good luck, kids.