Should Parents Put Their Child’s Needs Ahead of Their Own?

Last week, I was lucky enough to win a raffle at a mom blogger’s event and had first choice of several scooters. Without even any contemplation, I immediately selected the mini scooter (with three wheels) for my two year old son. It never dawned on me that maybe I should get one for myself or my husband. (Confession: we are both not the most coordinated and the scooters would rust before we ever jumped on it.) But that’s neither here nor there. My actions made me think about how ever since I was pregnant, I have put my child’s needs ahead of my on.

As another blogger recently wrote, “During the newborn stage, I learned (quite abruptly) that it was no longer all about me. In fact, it was very much not about me. I learned to give every ounce of myself to another being and to be rewarded simply by the giving…”

David Code, a family therapist, writer for the Wall Street Journal and author of To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First said, “Today’s number one myth about parenting is that the more attention we give our kids, the better they’ll turn out. But we parents have gone too far: our over-focus on our children is doing them more harm than good. Families centered on children create anxious, exhausted parents and demanding, entitled children. We parents today are too quick to sacrifice our lives and our marriages for our kids. Most of us have created child-centered families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention.”

What’s your opinion and parenting style? Have you been able to find a successful happy medium?

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Lainie Gutterman - Before giving birth to her son in 2009 and becoming a stay-at-home mom, Lainie was a founding partner of a Public Relations firm. Lainie describes herself as "a natural born publicist who is constantly spreading the word about new products, activities and events." When Lainie is not chasing after her son or they are not watching Nick Jr or reading together, she scrapbooks and writes posts for her blog, "Me, Myself & Baby I" at http://memyselfandbabyi.wordpress.com. Lainie and her family live in New York City, where she sacrifices living space (but not style) to be in the center of it all in "the city that never sleeps." (Fortunately, her toddler is a sound sleeper who doesn't rise until after 9am, on most days.)

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5 Comments on "Should Parents Put Their Child’s Needs Ahead of Their Own?"

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Keri
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After I had my first I gave up everything for my beautiful baby boy. He was the centre of my world. It wasn’t until I had PPD with my second child and was coming out of it that someone said “Keri, your needs are just as important as your children’s needs. If you need an hr to do something for yourself, make it possible. If you need new clothing, but that sleeper is just sooo cute! get the clothing for you. Those are your needs and they are valid.” that I actually realised it wasn’t healthy what I was doing,… Read more »
Jenny
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Happy parents = happy kids!

Brandi
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I have had this problem recently. I always put my kids first and it has caught up to me as I feel like I have lost myself since having my first child in 2006. I no longer know who I am and am having to find myself again all while taking care of everyone else as a stay at home mom. I struggle most days but I have great support from my hubby in this new journey to find out what I want to do for myself.

Jessica
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I always put my child before myself. It is called being a parent, that is what I signed up for when I decided to have my amazing son. When he is grown and able to support and do well for himself than it will be my turn to put myself first.

Sari P.
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That scooter is great. We had a different one first and it was so hard to use and hard to balance on. Both of my kids (ages 2 1/2 and 4 1/2) can ride it – the younger one with a little extra help and always wearing their helmets 😀

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