It might be waking up to the last month of summer or the Post’s Date Lab anniversary or the spirit of reconciliation on Capitol Hill. But today has me in a romantic mood. I’m inspired to post a link to one of my favorite studies of the year.

(The Washington Post and the Associated Press)

The survey, released in April, showed that children were more likely to report higher levels of happiness with their family situation when their mothers said they were happy in their relationships. The children were less sensitive to their siblings’ and father’s outlooks.

The results, of course, have to be taken with whatever grain of salt is on a particular family’s table. Parenting relationships are unique and complicated; some do not include romantic unions, some don’t include a mother. Even when happy, families are all different.

Still, what I like about this study is that it departs from so many others in this realm. It’s not about how much more we parents should give to our children, and what form that giving should take. It reminds us that family harmony is often a top-down affair.

The Post’s Going Out Gurus last week offered a few interesting date ideas before mellow summer turns into uptight fall. This month, this week or even tonight, might be a good time to do the kids a favor and try one.

What are your top date-night destinations?