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Why your kids should not be the most important people in your family.

An article which was originally published in the Naples Daily News by psychologist and author John Rosemond in 2007, has gone viral after it was posted on Facebook by a social media user.

Titled “Your kids should not be the most important in the family” the article is meant to be a pithy rejoinder of modern parenthood about how wrong modern parents are these days because they assume that their kids are the most important people in their families.

The crux of the article is this: Children should not be considered the most important people in the family because they are dependent on their parents for their survival and parents should reclaim their status as boss of the family. Rosemond’s piece takes the stance that many of the current generation’s problems originate from liberal ideas taken too far. He argues that this has put children on a pedestal and 'spoiled" them by making them too important within the family.

“Most of the problems the couple have are as a result of treating their children as if their marriage exist because of the kids when in fact it is the other way around,” he said.

He argues that kids exist because of their parents and their marriage and that thrive because they have created a stable family.

In the article, Rosemond describes an encounter he had with a married couple who told him their three children were the most important in the family.

“What is it about your kids that gives them that status?” he asked.

Unable to answer, he answered for them. “There is no reasonable thing that gives your children that status.”

Rosemond, who says he grew up in a marriage-centric family as opposed to today's kid-centric homes, is just one of many family psychologists who is encouraging parents not to neglect their relationship after having kids. And it doesn't matter if the kids are toddlers or teenagers – husband and wife should pay more attention to one another than they do to their children.

Traditionally, children were second-class citizens - to their advantage. It was always clear to them that their parents were the most important people in the family. That is why children respected their parents and looked up to adults in general.

Marriages then were more important to the spouses than their relationships with their kids. Children could not sleep in their parents’ beds or interrupt their conversations. The family meal, at home, was regarded as more important than after-school activities. The parents talked more - a lot more - with one another than they talked with their kids.

“The most important person in an army is the general. The most important person in a corporation is the CEO. The most important person in a classroom is a teacher. And the most important person in a family are the parents. As parents, it is our job to prepare them for responsible citizenship,” he writes.

“Our child is the most important person in our family is the first step to raising a child who feels 
entitled” he adds. That's exactly what's wrong with our family today.

Those who agree with Rosemond’s theory say that a happy home is certainly a significant factor, among many others, that helps in raising healthy kids.

Among the reasons why spouses need to focus on your marriage include:-

1. This makes kids to become more independent.

A parent’s primary goal is to prepare a child for a fruitful and productive adult life and to raise them such that community and culture are strengthened. Parents who put their marriage first give their kids more room to be independent.  

2. The parent spends less time trying to be that perfect parent.

Some people feel that being a ‘good parent’ today is synonymous with being too busy to have time for their spouses or themselves. They never stop thinking about and doing for their kids and so they often end up being so exhausted, anxious and stressed.

It has been said time and time again that making time for your partner and oneself is crucial for your happiness.

3. Kids get role models in their parents’ union.

The most important rule for raising happy and successful children is to ‘love your spouse.’ Putting too much focus on the kids and none for your spouse makes your marriage more at risk for falling apart. And when that happens, it’s the kids who bear the big chunk of the negative effects.

When the kids see how their parents love one another, how they argue with one another (hopefully it’s the proper way) and how they work together to resolve things, these are what the kids will look for in their future romantic relationships. They also learn to show appreciation for people they love.

4. You teach your kids to respect others and themselves. 

Sons learn how to respect women from how their fathers treat their mothers; daughters learn how to act in the company of the opposite sex in how her mother asserts herself and will not tolerate those who don’t measure to their dads.

When your kids see you being affectionate to each other, it teaches them how to be expressive, thoughtful, and generous. Witnessing their parents tend to one another’s needs every once in a while might just instill some patience and compassion.

Putting your spouse before your kids does not mean you don’t care about them. Valuing your spouse, loving your children and finding time for themselves can all co-exist within a healthy marriage and happy family.

Sometimes, the little stuff works fine. For instance, the wife making his coffee, saying “I love you”, holding hands, or hugging each other in front of the kids, taking walks together.

Prioritising the marriage doesn’t mean you have ignored your children’s needs. It is a careful balancing act: being a wife/husband first, then a mom/dad, and also being your own person in between.  

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