Which should be your priority: your spouse or your kids?

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Is putting your spouse first good for your kids? Will prioritising your marriage lead you to neglect your children?

There was a recent hot discussion on the theAsianparent Community app about which should be prioritised in the homethe spouse or the children:

(Click on the image to view the whole discussion)

Which should be your priority: your spouse or your kids?

The theAsianparent Community community was divided. Some, like Jorelle A., wrote that she puts her kids first before anything else, because “they are young and vulnerable.” Others, like Yuna L., put their spouse first because “at the end of the day, when the kids have grown and moved on with their lives, my spouse will be the one next to me.”

Spouse or children first: which is best for the family?

According to Linda and Charlie Bloom, authors of Secrets of Great Marriages: Real Truths from Real Couples About Lasting Love, though it’s natural for parents to prioritise their children above everything else, that isn’t good for marriages or the family life. In an article for Psychology Todaythey wrote:

“When one or both partners make their children's happiness a higher priority than the health of their marriage, they run the risk of neglecting the needs of the marriage, and in doing so, fostering feelings of resentment, neglect, resignation, and alienation in themselves and/or each other.

"As most parents know, children sense much more of their parent's moods, feelings, and attitudes than they outwardly express. Unhappy and unfulfilled parents can lead their kids to conclude that marriage makes people unhappy, or if the focus of their discord centers on child-rearing differences, that they are the source of their parents' unhappiness.”

By putting your marriage first, you’ll have a happier relationship that your kids will benefit from. The model of your healthy relationship will create a positive impact on your kids’ lives, giving them a positive perception of marriage and family.

Putting your kids first can also have negative effects on their character. Click to the next page to read more.

Don't spoil your kids

It’s also important to note that children who are made the top priority often become spoiled and self-centered. In an article called “How American parenting is killing the American marriage”, Danielle and Astro Teller wrote:

“Children who are raised to believe that they are the center of the universe have a tough time when their special status erodes as they approach adulthood. Most troubling of all, couples who live entirely child-centric lives can lose touch with one another to the point where they have nothing left to say to one another when the kids leave home… Is it surprising that divorce rates are rising fastest for new empty nesters?"

Just because you’re putting your spouse first does not mean that you’ll be neglecting your kids. If anything, you’ll be better parents for it.

marriage first

Be sure to check out theAsianparent Community for more insightful stories, questions, and answers from parents and experts alike. If you have any insights, questions or comments regarding the topic, please share them in our Comment box below. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Google+ to stay up-to-date on the latest from theAsianparent.com Malaysia!

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