Updated: Oct 2, 2020
I read this article several years ago. It was originally posted in Jan 1 2017, in The Naples Daily News.
If you have never come across it, it's written by John Rosemond (psychologist), and it talks about how marriages are often put under pressure by parents, putting their children first: before their marriage or before each other.
He states "Your kids should NOT be the most important in the family"
It was recently published to a Large Facebook Group and I was surprised by some of the comments. Many of the reactions reflected that the article was incorrect, and that they would put their children first. Going as far to say, "times have changed" or "only the older generation (or boomers as they are often called) have this view".
John starts the article off by asking a married couple with 3 kids (like myself), "Who are the most important people in your family?"
To which the couple answer "our kids". You can read the article in full below.
As I was so surprised by the reaction of many parents on the group. I decided to do an experiment of my own, to see how all the members of MY family would react to this question.
In the video below you can see the outcome, (little Hendrix at the end, bless him), not sure where he was going with his answer, and Marc of course, not like being on camera (I feel his pain).
But I do think the answers actually reflect the cognition of the those interviewed well.
In the book "All Joy and No Fun: A Paradox of modern parenthood" written by Jennifer Senior, I feel as similar message is portrayed. This book is a parenting book, but talks about how having children impacts the parents, and their marriage/relationship. I wrote a little more on some witty responses parents have given on how parenting has changed their marriage here.
I actually agree with John, and I don't consider myself old, but I do believe I am traditional.
As a parenting coach, many sessions are like marriage counselling sessions, trying to bring two clients onto the same page, and giving them tools on how to deal with situations, that cause friction in their married lives, and in MOST cases, it comes from how to deal with their children.
In our home, we always say "We are married to each other, not the children". Our goal for them, is to grow up and leave home. To become independent citizens and have families of their own. When that happens, I would like to still have a relationship to fall back, and I want our relationship to be a model for them, and their future spouses / family.
Of course, there are many different opinions and many different dynamics family to family, so this point of view, is not going to be the same for everyone.