We knew that title would pick your ears, and we are not saying that your child is not important! What we’re saying is that like with any human in your life, boundaries are important, they are teaching children that there is a time and a place to talk, to not interrupt, to understand that the world doesn’t, and will never revolve around them. If our children learn this from a young age, they will be better equipped as adults, and that’s our job as parents!
So let’s delve into the 10 reasons why your child should not be the most important person in your life in order to achieve what we just said earlier.
- Parents Set The Rules And Expectations, And Model Love, Compassion And Communication
A letter written by John Rosemond titled “your kid should not be the most important in the family” spiked a varied response from parents, but before you indignity claim he’s speaking rubbish, hear him out. He says that it’s the parents that should be the ones setting the rules, the ones who the children learn from, they emulate the way you love your compassion, and how you communicate.
His point is that should we give these important tasks to children to run our lives would be chaos, and many families’ lives are chaos because of this. Children are making the rules, telling their parents how they expect them to act, and it’s not healthy. When did parents lose their voice?
So we reiterate your children are important, but in your family dynamic, would you still say the most important.
- Entitlement is a Downfall of Children Who Are The Most Important in The Family
There are so many books, articles and papers discussing this theme “Entitlement, and how not to raise entitled children”, there’s a common thread that runs through them. Don’t treat your child like a princess or prince, they’re not royalty! They’re an active member of your household, and in order for your household to run efficiently, everybody needs to play their role. It’s not just the mom or the dad holding everything together, it takes the input of all.
So new parents, if you’re not giving your child responsibilities, chores or tasks to do that are for the betterment of the family, how will they learn responsibility? what kind of partner will they be to someone, someday, when they expect everything to be done for them?
- Couples Lose Focus on Each Other And Relationships Fizzle Out
You know the little rhyme Abby and Zach sitting in the tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g, first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage? Well, what they forgot in that rhyme is the last line, which is, then comes the baby in the baby carriage, and there goes the marriage.
Family, parent burnout is a real problem. Psychology today says that therapists have seen a huge spike of parents seeking counselling as they’re unable to cope with the stresses of parenting. And a stark reality is that parents are too afraid to speak up about it, because they feel like failures.
Three surveys were sent out yearly to roughly 1 000 families over a few years, parental burnout affected most of the parents, with burnout associated with escape ideation. Basically fantasizing about leaving your family behind or physical or psychological aggression aimed at the partner or the children.
Family, here’s a hard truth self-care is child care, because you cannot give what you don’t have. Focus your energy on yourself and you will see how you will become a better parent.
- You Want to Raise Independent Children
What do we ultimately want for our children? We want them to integrate into society, be a good citizen, and be able to cope with the highs and lows that life throws at them, that’s generally a blanket expectation for most parents. Now, how do we get our children to that point?
If we continue to treat them like royalty, they’ll expect that same treatment in the real world, and that’s just not a reality. If we continue to cushion them from every bump and bruise, they will not be able to cope well as adults with life’s ebbs and flows. It’s our job as parents to lay the groundwork to have independent thinkers, kind individuals who respect rules and regulations, and who are productive members of society.
You must check our article about the 15 life skills that your child must absolutely master before leaving home, it gonna make things clear for you, followed by our article on the 10 effective ways to discipline your child.
- Your Marriage or Partnership Doesn’t Exist Because You Have Children
Before children, in most cases, it would have been you and your partner, loving each other and enjoying life, and then the next step is a mutual decision to have a baby. We understand that there are many different situations leading to that point, but let’s go with that one for this article. John Roseman points out that your children exist because of the partnership and it makes sense. So while it’s your job to ensure all your child’s needs are met, you need to invest just as much time in yourself and your partner to make sure their needs are met too.
All too often we hear “my wife loves the baby more than she loves me” or “my partner only has energy for the baby and not for me”, resentment builds up and it’s very hard to get back that last time, which leads to our next point.
- Children Eventually Leave The Nest
If we devote our entire lives to doing everything for our children and sacrifice our own self-care time to our children’s busy schedules, then what happens when they eventually do leave the house? Empty nest syndrome will be a much harder part of your life to get through when you’ve invested everything, and then suddenly it’s gone, and you realize that so is the life you once had for yourself.
We hear your argument of it was your choice to have children, and you need to do whatever you can for them, and they are priority, and we’re not disputing that. What we’re saying is that as long as all their needs are met physically, emotionally, mentally, it’s important to let go and, let them make their own choices, learn how their choices affect them in the long run, and learn from their mistakes. You also won’t be so worried about them when they do leave the house, because you’ll know they’ll be able to cope without you, well done you.
- It’s Draining And Takes Away Your Own Independence
Here’s a question for you to think about and we’d love you to be a hundred percent honest with yourself.
Would you like your children to parent their children the same way you’re doing it right now? If your answer is yes, then why are you even reading this article!? If your answer is no, then it’s up to you to make the changes.
Somewhere along the way, the lines between what parents and kids expect has become very blurry. When was the last time you and your partner went on a date without your children? If you can’t even remember, then phone a friend to look after your child, grab your masks and head out for some one-on-one time. Your children need to see you spending quality time together, so they can make the same investment with their own partners one day, this time do it for the kids.
- They Will Have a Misguided Idea of How Life Really is
Family, we’re going to have a look into the future. Imagine your grown-up child is sitting in a board meeting, and the CEO of the company is speaking, next minute your adult child interrupts him and starts speaking over him, how will that go down? We assure you, not well. Here’s another scenario, your adult child is on a date, and is at a lovely restaurant with a lovely person, the food takes a little longer to arrive at the table, and your adult child starts whinging and complaining, saying “When will the food be ready I’m hungry?”, or “It’s taking forever, wow!”, that date will be out of there ASAP.
So why do we let our children think that they’re more important than the CEO, in your family you and your partner? Why do we let them interrupt the conversation to have them bulldoze it into another direction, which is usually not even mildly associated with the topic at hand?
Kids need to learn their place, and when they can and cannot speak. It’s a lesson that they can take with them throughout their adult life.
- Don’t be Misguided by Picture-Perfect Parenting Images You See on Social Media
There seems to be this illusion that when you become a parent, you automatically know what to do, and that it will be an effortless and easy transition, but it’s not! What happens is parents are bombarded with picture-perfect images of Pinterest parents, making gingerbread houses from scratch, and then growing the vegetables to make the perfect organic meal, or their children are wearing the latest designs from Dior.
So you try and keep up with the joneses, and you inadvertently create an unrealistic expectation for your children. They in turn grow up and think they need to be wearing the Diors, or creating that illusion of this picture-perfect life for their children, and it’s unsustainable!
You can check our article about why and how to manage screen time for your children, by following the previous link.
- Loving And Focusing on Your Partner is Another Way of Loving Your Kids
Family, can you imagine how much stronger your relationship with your partner would be if you love them as much as you love your children, or if you forgive your partner as easily as you forgive your children? Or what about spending equal amounts of time with your husband or wife as you do with your children? Would you agree that your relationship would be so much stronger than you ever imagined? Would you agree that you and your partner would find parenting easier as a team, because you’d more than likely be on the same page? Would you agree that it’s at least worth a try if it means you could have a happier relationship, happier parents, and ultimately happier kids?
So here’s our question for today, what are your thoughts on the idea that your children should not be the most important people in your life? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
In an ideal situation your significant other or SO, will be with you before the kids, during the kids, and after the kids, so always remember who will be with you for the rest of your life.
Your children will go off and live their own lives, and then it’s just you and your partner. So enjoy each other, love each other, and support each other.