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To think children do not always come first?

(247 Posts)
clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 12:21:00

Adults matter too. And their needs and wants also matter.

GoFiguire Fri 22-Feb-19 12:21:57

That’s a beautiful story.

HarperIsBazaar Fri 22-Feb-19 12:22:45

Do you have children?

meow1989 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:23:29

Adults do matter, but not as much as children.

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:23:58

Of course you're not being unreasonable. Everybody matters. Who should come first is governed by ongoing priorities and obligations.

ILiveInSalemsLot Fri 22-Feb-19 12:24:07

Of course they do.
What made you think their needs and wants didn’t matter?

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:24:22

Not enough information.

If you're talking about who chooses a takeaway, then of course everyone takes a turn and all opinions must be heard. That goes for most family decisions - everyone should count.

There are situations in which someone has to come first, ultimately, though - whether or not to move the family abroad, for example, or leaving a miserable job vs leaving a school where children are settled and close to exams - in those situations, where it's an adult's welfare directly in conflict with a child's, then I think children should absolutely come first.

Sirzy Fri 22-Feb-19 12:24:33

I am sure sometimes there are specific circumstances when the adults need to come first but in general children should come first

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:24:41

Adults do matter, but not as much as children

Have to disagree with that.

PlainSpeakingStraightTalking Fri 22-Feb-19 12:24:57

Depends, unless the principle care givers needs are met, it is unlikely he/she will be able to continue to give the care the children require. Serves no purpose if the adult has a break down.

babysharkah Fri 22-Feb-19 12:25:40

are you a step parent by any chance?

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:25:56

but in general children should come first

Have to disagree with that too.

DorothyBastard Fri 22-Feb-19 12:26:04

Adult wants never trump children’s needs. But the opposite is also true, and children’s wants don’t trump adult needs. But in my eyes, children’s needs do trump adult needs.

Newadventure Fri 22-Feb-19 12:26:22

I know what I want to say but can't articulate it properly so I'm just gonna stay here until someone comes along and says what I'm thinking. Then I can tag and say agreed.
Happens every time.

Carry on.

wellhonestly Fri 22-Feb-19 12:26:53

In my experience, occasionally a whole family's needs have to be prioritised over one individual child. But not adults over children. Of course adults "matter", but children come first.

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:28:19

Interesting. I can see that I'm in the minority here blush

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:29:10

Can you articulate your view a bit more stevie? I'm interested grin

Slowknitter Fri 22-Feb-19 12:29:16

Of course adults matter as much as children. But obviously that doesn't mean that you should treat them exactly the same, because children have different needs and abilities to adults.

Meralia Fri 22-Feb-19 12:29:51

The needs of the child in the family should always come first. It’s different if you mean wants.

Of course adults matter, but children’s welfare should be prioritised.

There’s been loads of things I haven’t wanted to do, but I have because it was best for my children’s needs.

merrybloomizoothief Fri 22-Feb-19 12:30:05

so if there is only enough money for one person in the house to be fed then the child gets fed.
if the parent has a new girlfriend/boyfriend and wants to spend all their time shagging then the child comes first.
if the child has reading homework and the parent wants to play on their phone, the child comes first.

if the parent is ill and the child wants to go to the park, the parent comes first.
etc etc etc

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 12:30:12

I am not talking about an adults wants to go out drinking coming before a child's needs to be supervised. That is obviously wrong.

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:30:49

Well, what sort of scenario are you talking about claire?

Newadventure Fri 22-Feb-19 12:31:04

They you go. I'm with stevie and greensleeves

Newadventure Fri 22-Feb-19 12:31:57

there 🙄

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:31:59

an you articulate your view a bit more stevie? I'm interested

Well, the majority view appears to be that, in the event of a conflict of interest, a child's needs should come above those of an adult. My view is that it should be the other way round.

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:32:36

Yes, but why?

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Feb-19 12:33:09

I think this stems from the funeral thread?

And yes, I agree with you. I think the truth is that all people who come out with the trite statement that 'children come first' will in fact be making decisions on a daily basis that DON'T put their children first.

But that's fine. People can't always come first, and they shouldn't. It will make them horrible adults, for a start, and the concept immediately breaks down when you have more than one child anyway - take, for example, Katie Price balancing the needs of her young children with her disabled son.

Always provide for their needs. Always provide for your own (which sometimes being a less than ideal parent, but actually a sane one...).

For the rest, just keep things in balance.

Slowknitter Fri 22-Feb-19 12:35:17

I agree with you Stevie. I actually think the onus is on the others to explain why they think children matter more than adults. Do children need more help? Yes, of course. Do they need protecting from things? Yes. Do they need to be loved and brought up and educated? Yes. But that doesn't mean they matter more in the sense of being of more worth or value as a human being. With a few extremely evil exceptions, all human lives matter equally.

iSiTbEdTiMeYeT1 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:35:56

Adults come first. How do you effectively take care of a kid of your tired, over stressed, emotional ect.
But in practice think kids tend to take priority because 'its the right thing to do' more than its what's needed

HalfBloodPrincess Fri 22-Feb-19 12:38:57

We need more context.

Adult wants never trump children’s needs. But the opposite is also true, and children’s wants don’t trump adult needs. But in my eyes, children’s needs do trump adult needs

Depends on the circumstances though. If I was a kidney organ donor match to both my husband and a random child then my husband is getting it, but if it were my husband or my child then my child would be getting it.

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:39:46

Yes, but why?

I guess I just think that an adult has earned some privileges in life, one of which is for their wishes to rank above those of a child. It's hard to articulate, actually. I do think that children, in general, probably have a bit too much say in family life these days.

But, please remember that I'm a child of the 1960s and things were different then blush

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 12:40:04

thecats Yes I agree that most parents do not always put their children's wants first whatever they say. And that is the right thing to do.
So some kids desires would be for you to take them to soft play every single day even though you as an adult hate it, and it would cost you so much you could never afford any adult treats at all.

In real life most good parents balance wants. So your kid loves soft play and would love to go every day, you hate it. You take your kid sometimes, and take them other places other days that you prefer.

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:41:27

Depends on the circumstances though. If I was a kidney organ donor match to both my husband and a random child then my husband is getting it, but if it were my husband or my child then my child would be getting it.

Ah, you've probably helped me with articulation there. Yes, the needs of your children rank above those of an adult; not the rights of children generally.

And that's a perfectly valid view smile

PBo83 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:41:41

This is all about context and differentiating between wants and needs.

I do believe that, quite often, some parents allow their child's WANTS to trump virtually everything which doesn't necessarily turn them into the best human beings.

Slowknitter Fri 22-Feb-19 12:42:12

It's actually impossible to make a blanket rule about this, because a) it will be different for every situation and b) people's desire to protect children is a very strong instinct, not based on logic.

Seeing to children's needs usually takes priority because, unlike adults, they are often unable to see to their own needs. If an adult is in a position where they'd have to see to their own needs first in order to be able to then help a child (e.g. oxygen mask in plane), then obviously that's different.

None of this means that adults don't matter though.

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:42:54

I think wants and needs are two very different things. I won't pretend DH and I don't sometimes pull rank when it comes to preferences (where to go on holiday, whether to stop and eat out rather than go home and cook) because we pay for everything and we're in charge!

My "children come first" ethic is around actual needs and serious welfare dilemmae. I wouldn't move DS1 out of his school in Y11 however much DH or I might want to take up a new job offer or pursue something for ourselves. When it's a serious conflict between our needs and the kids' - theirs wins.

Cheeeeislifenow Fri 22-Feb-19 12:44:56

It's too broad a statement to agree with or disagree with.

PBo83 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:45:07


I think you've articulated exactly what I wanted to say very well so, if you don't mind, I'll sit back and let you get the bashing instead of me ;)

HollyGoLoudly1 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:45:57

I think children often come first out of necessity. Should they ALWAYS come first, in all situations? No.

My midwife spoke to me when I first had my baby and explained it using the 'airplane oxygen mask' analogy. You can't take care of children's needs if you don't take care of yourself first. There are plenty of situations where a child can't come first all the time: other siblings, someone is ill, parents working or good forbid need a break.

Greensleeves Fri 22-Feb-19 12:45:59

Nobody is getting bashed confused

It's a really interesting question.

Purplepricklesalloverhisback Fri 22-Feb-19 12:46:45

I agree with greensleeves. It depends on needs and wants. The needs of my children will always come first, but wants are a compromise and everyone in the family gets a say.

Putting children first does not mean giving them everything they want.

JingsMahBucket Fri 22-Feb-19 12:47:07

@stevie69 and @Slowknitter. I tend to side eye the people who say children should always come first. That just leads to tired and resentful adults.

JingsMahBucket Fri 22-Feb-19 12:47:47

@stevie69 and @Slowknitter In case that wasn’t clear, I agree with you.

stevie69 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:48:13

I think you've articulated exactly what I wanted to say very well so, if you don't mind, I'll sit back and let you get the bashing instead of me ;)

Happy to take one for the team. My views are genuine and not in any way designed to annoy anyone. So .... bash away smile

pointythings Fri 22-Feb-19 12:48:48

I think if you are a parent, you're going to be inclined to put your DCs' needs above your own, and also above your partner's. That's just nature. Ultimately a child is dependent on the parent for its needs - the other parent in the scenario is (usually) an independent adult capable of taking care of their own needs.

Wants are an entirely different thing.

It's horrible to have to choose between your partner and your children. I've had to do it - alcoholic husband, distressed DDs and distressed me and ultimately I chose to protect my daughters. They couldn't protect themselves, I could protect them, he made the choice not to be there for his family. It was the only sensible thing to do, it was hard and yes, my DDs came first in that scenario.

PBo83 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:49:43


Actually lots of people seem to be agreeing with you so I was the one who made the misjudgement. Sorry everybody sad

Designerenvy Fri 22-Feb-19 12:50:28

Kids come first always. They're vulnerable and need adult care, support , guidance. Adults are important but not as important as children opinion.

BogstandardBelle Fri 22-Feb-19 12:50:31

Totally depends on the context.

DH is fairly dissatisfied in his job atm. But changing jobs would involve a move, and taking both DCs out of the school they’ve been in since they were three. We’re not going to do that unless it is really, really necessary - their need to be secure in life trumps DHs desire to change jobs. But if DH got miserable to the point of depression / illness, then priorities would change and his need to change jobs would eventually trump DCs need to stay where they are.

ThumbWitchesAbroad Fri 22-Feb-19 12:51:00

It depends entirely on context, in all honesty.

No my DC do not get final say, or make decisions, or get all their wants administered to immediately. Their needs are met, as they should be by all responsible parents, but I'm not raising little princes who think their every whim should be met!

If I had spare money and a choice of spending it on something they want, or something I want, then sometimes they'll get it and sometimes I will, depending.
If I want but they need, then they get it.
If they want but I need, then I get it.

My children's needs come above my DH's, because they're still very much dependent on us as parents (at 11 and 6). But when they're adults, then things will change again.

But if it came to a house fire, for e.g., and I had to save them all, I'd save the children first without question.

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Feb-19 12:52:23

Another thing is adult life is hard, and parenting is hard.

Being aged 5-9 was fucking AWESOME. I went to school and learned things, I played with my friends every single day, I had no responsibility for bills, or household, or cleaning or anything. Life was GREAT.

So yeah, knowing at this age, nearer my parents position than myself at that age, it's obvious that parents need some kind of kick back.

(in part you could say that childhood is magical BECAUSE they're put first... but I was thinking at Cadbury World - you know what, sod it, I've had a hard week, I'm sitting at the front!)

SlipperOrchid Fri 22-Feb-19 12:53:27

but in general children should come first

Obviously it depends on specific situations but in general I disagree. You can run yourself into the ground as a parent trying to put children first resulting in mentally and physically exhausted parents who end up with non existent relationships and being little good for each other or the children. It is very important for a family to work together as a team and take turns. It is very important for children to know they are loved and cherished and sometimes that means realising that other people's needs sometimes come first.

mummmy2017 Fri 22-Feb-19 12:53:56

I think there is no hard and fast rule on this.
Each problem has to be face as it arrives.
I moved house, for work, but paid more rent to be nearer the school my child wanted.
I wanted to go to France on holiday, but drive rather than flew as my child hates planes.
By giving and taking everyone gets what they want even if no one is completely happy,

kittybee Fri 22-Feb-19 12:57:27

My children don’t always come first, but they never, ever come second. My children are my world.

MikeUniformMike Fri 22-Feb-19 12:58:18

Cats come first not children.

RomanyQueen1 Fri 22-Feb-19 13:00:44

Everybody matters, but it depends on your priorities too.
for some people their children come before job, career, hobbies, spare time etc, it depends on your lifestyle too.
There can be times when this varies too, depending on the situation.
For dd her education was more important than anything else, and we made sacrifices to give her the best fit.
We didn't have to do the same for the others, as situation different.

ILiveInSalemsLot Fri 22-Feb-19 13:01:20

regarding the soft play example, I really hate soft play, my children loved it but my hatred took priority so I never took them. They only went for parties.
However, I took them out to other places so it worked out. If I couldn’t be bothered and it was soft play or nowhere, then yes, the reasonable thing to do is take them sometimes.

Springwalk Fri 22-Feb-19 13:01:32

A child’s needs should always come before an adults, why? Because children are too young to take care of their own needs. They rely solely on us to care for them. It is our responsibility over and above all else to care for the young and the vulnerable.
I can’t think of any situation where this would not be the case.

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 13:04:59

Springwalk Do you mean your child's needs should come first for you?
Because nobody in reality puts other children's needs first before what they want.
So there are homeless children living in bed and breakfasts in awful conditions. Nobody who lives in a nice house without dependant children, would offer to swap living accommodation with them.

SlipperOrchid Fri 22-Feb-19 13:06:25

I can’t think of any situation where this would not be the case.

Oxygen masks on aeroplanes?

The OP did not use the word needs.

SpiritedLondon Fri 22-Feb-19 13:06:34

My DDs “needs” will generally come first but not necessarily her “ wants” - those two are completely different things. In my opinion the fact that people prioritise what children “ want” above everything else is generally responsible for the hideous entitlement that you sometimes come across. In our house we are Team Spirited and we all have to do boring stuff for the benefit of the term and we all get a chance to do fun stuff sometimes. it’s about finding a balance. Part of the life lessons though include a degree of respect which I believe adults are entitled to by virtue of their age.... that is not in every situation imaginable but mostly. Adults do not need to earn respect from children. Subsequently my DD is taught to give up get seats for adults on buses / trains etc which I know is considered old fashioned on MN but is the way we operate in our family.

hellsbells99 Fri 22-Feb-19 13:06:38

My mother is very ill at the moment. She is my priority and currently comes before my 2 DDs - which they agree with.

mummmy2017 Fri 22-Feb-19 13:07:22

But what do you regard as children's needs.
Food, clothing and a roof over their heads?

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Feb-19 13:07:35

Springwalk - the oxygen mask on the plane example is a pretty good one!

An adult pushing themselves too hard to provide and causing a mental breakdown?
An adult starving themselves to feed their kids ending up in hospital, with the kids in care?
A mum letting her baby scream for 2 minutes so she doesn't wet herself?

I could go on. There are countless examples where an adult not taking care of themselves ends up with a WORSE scenario for the child in question. One of a child's TOP needs is A FUNCTIONING HEALTHY ADULT TO CARE FOR THEM.

By looking after yourself you ARE looking after them.

(wish my mum had sorted out her mental health more when I was a child, instead of happily using us as free therapy...)

CanILeavenowplease Fri 22-Feb-19 13:08:04

Context is everything, isn’t it? My children’s needs would generally come before my own. I can’t think of a situation where they wouldn’t. Their wants, however, are a different matter.

As a divorced mum, I have made a conscious decision not to live with a new partner and not to blend families. I consider that in my children’s best interests but not mine - I would prefer a relationship and quality of life that comes with being part of a partnership but my ex is unstable and it seems right to make sure they have some stability.

Onceuponacheesecake Fri 22-Feb-19 13:09:39

I thinks a child's need trumps most adults need when it comes to very basic living. But a child's want...that's a different matter.

VeniVidiViciTwice Fri 22-Feb-19 13:09:55

TAAT by any chance?

PurpleDaisies Fri 22-Feb-19 13:09:58


By looking after yourself you ARE looking after them.

I agree with this.

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Feb-19 13:14:41

Re: the funeral thread - I don't think people saying 'children should always come first' are really thinking about how vulnerable adults can be at the pinch points of their lives.

For example, if they'd planned a picnic in the park with their 6 and 8yos, and they had a garden. But their friend came around devastated, crying, because they'd discovered their husband cheating. Would they really say, 'sorry, my children come first' and go to the park, or would they send the kids out to the garden and keep an eye on them whilst hugging their friend and calling their husband a bastard?

Purplecatshopaholic Fri 22-Feb-19 13:23:09

All PEOPLE are the same in my eyes. I would not prioritise a child over an adult necessarily, I would assess the situation and make a judgement.

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 13:24:26

As a kid me and my sister had to share a bedroom, for a few months because my parents were looking after a relative who was living with us. Our want was to have our own bedroom. The relative though needed a few months to get better, so my parents put their needs first. I think that was the right thing to do.

Lalliella Fri 22-Feb-19 13:25:35

I think that in choosing to bring children into this world a parent should generally put their children’s needs first and do what they can to give their children the happiest possible life. Example of where you shouldn’t put yourself first in my opinion - a friend of mine was a bit fed up with her marriage and rather than trying to fix it she went off with another man and her DSs are devastated (and one is soon to take his GCSEs). That kind of thing.

PurpleDaisies Fri 22-Feb-19 13:26:18

I missed the funeral thread, anyone got a link?

GreenWingers Fri 22-Feb-19 13:26:29

Yup. Needs are important, wants less so. Of course our life changed when DS came along but, to an extent, he fit in around me and OH instead of us fitting in around him, which seems to be the norm with many of my friends.

Spikeyball Fri 22-Feb-19 13:27:29

I think the needs of the most vulnerable, who are not necessarily children, come first but in order for this to happen it may mean helping others first.

WhatTheNightBrings Fri 22-Feb-19 13:27:39

Would you like to talk about the specific circumstances you're referring to?

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 13:30:09

There are no specific circumstances. I have given some examples.

CripsSandwiches Fri 22-Feb-19 13:30:18

Depends on the situation a small amount of inconvenience for the child vs large problem or huge upset for the adult? Then yes kids have to be put out.

I would always probably prioritise my child in big decisions about where we live (ensuring good schools and nice places to go, but I'd consider my and DH's needs too).

It's not good for kids to think only they matter and kids can get something out of being selfless too.

thecatsthecats Fri 22-Feb-19 13:30:33

About a 13 year old (some SEN I think), their brithday, and their grandad's funeral on the same day.

Biancadelrioisback Fri 22-Feb-19 13:31:06

I put my family first. So family life, family happiness, prosperity etc. I will always prioritise making sure his washing is done before mine, he is dressed before me, he is fed before me, if I'm low on milk he gets the last of it over me, but if it came down to us needing to move house to improve family life then we will whether it is what he wants or not. (He's 2 so can't really argue about that ATM)

Jimdandy Fri 22-Feb-19 13:31:25


I agree.

SweetheartNeckline Fri 22-Feb-19 13:41:34

Depends what you mean by coming first.

For us, "macro" decisions (such as where to live, expensive holiday destinations, family size) are made very much in a balancing act of what is best for a) each and b) all of us. Probably more weight is given to the DCs requirements because we recognise that children don't have agency over these type of decisions and need us to act on their behalf. We do this to the best of our knowledge, with needs weighted more heavily than wants - of course.

Micro decisions are usually done without too much thought - sometimes kids have to have a dinner they're not keen on or go to B&Q on a Sunday. Equally I'd really rather not go to another bloody soft play party but will do it for the DCs' sake.

ArmchairTraveller Fri 22-Feb-19 13:42:31

It’s too complex and emotive to just give a simplistic answer of yes or no. The situation and circumstances affect the response. Just like when you have two or more children whose needs and wants are in conflict.

diplodocusinermine Fri 22-Feb-19 13:45:48

Agree with Stevie (and I'm of a similar age grin. Children's needs, i.e shelter, food, comfort, love, education etc are very important. Their wants do not take precedence. I've actually seen family take a young child's (8yo) wants into account and turn down a major life changing opportunity because of the child's opinion. What's really daft is that the move would have hugely benefitted the child.

When I was a child, we were well loved and looked after, but had little or no say in any decisions as to family life. We grew up and took our place in adult society and then had the opportunity to see our wants and needs fulfilled.

It seems that young people who have their every want indulged within their families find it difficult to realise that wider society will not indulge them so much.

TVWife Fri 22-Feb-19 13:52:20

Adults tend to be better able than children to meet their own needs. That doesn't make those needs less important but it does mean that they don't involve the assistance of another person.

For example, person A (an adult) is in a position where their partner and toddler both need food. The partner can probably get their own so person A's priority should be to feed the toddler. That doesn't make the other adult's need to eat any less important.

If the partner is severely disabled so unable to feed themselves and has a condition such as diabetes meaning they need to eat promptly that is another matter.

bringincrazyback Fri 22-Feb-19 13:54:29

YANBU. Adults provide the framework for the stability of children. If they don't put themselves first sometimes, they're likely to burn out/become exhausted and overextended, and thus less likely to be effective in providing that stable framework.

I also don't feel it's healthy for children to be given the message that they come first at all times as I think this can lead to an entitled mentality in which children can come to expect their every whim to be indulged. This doesn't set them up well for the realities of life.

Whatdoesitmatteranyway Fri 22-Feb-19 13:55:09

I know I'm going to be flamed here but I also have never understood why its always "women and children" first in cases of saving people from death or disaster.

If you save the children and there are not enough adults to raise them, then you end up with lord of the flies.

If you save the adults at the expense of some children, chances are more children would get born later to replace the ones that perished.

Obviously the parents of the children would feel differently but I cannot see why you would save a child that is about to be an orphan over a couple of child bearing age. Especially since the child likely doesn't have a sense of their own mortality and is probably less afraid.

Thats just pure logic to me.

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 13:57:44

whatdoesitmatteranyway Women and children first in disasters is a popular myth. It happened in the Titanic sinking, so the once. Generally in disasters it is healthy young adult men who are much more likely to survive, Children, old and sick people are least likely to survive, followed by women.

PettyContractor Fri 22-Feb-19 14:01:56

If children come first, presumably I can never kick DD off the Disney channel at any time of day or night so I can watch TV.

In general it is too simplistic to say anyone should come first, the choice should be made on the situation and all the facts, including who has come first when other choices were made.

BarbedBloom Fri 22-Feb-19 14:02:34

As everyone else has said, it always depends on the circumstances. I don’t think you can make a blanket statement that children must always come first. Obviously children need your care more than an adult, but at the same time you do have to leave space for your partner so that when the children grow up and hopefully make their own lives, you still have a connection. But when it comes to good schools or health etc of course you will focus on the greater need at the time.

An example I thought of was a friend who had her 10/11 year old child in bed with her every single night and went to bed at the same time. No nightmares or anything like that, the child just preferred it. In the end her H got annoyed and my friend kept saying the child’s wishes should be put first. I could see his position as well.

piratehooker Fri 22-Feb-19 14:08:37

Echoing the common sentiment of circumstances and wants vs. needs. Also, I would change 'children' to 'vulnerable' or 'dependent', albeit preferably in a less daft-sounding way. As in, a vulnerable adult with advanced dementia who is dependent on a family member to care for them; their needs are equal to and sometimes (again, circumstances to be considered) a greater priority than children's, despite one being an adult and one being a child. It's about more than just age. Wants are completely different, as many have said.

ADropofReality Fri 22-Feb-19 14:08:54

If this is about the funeral thread, I don’t see “Moving grandad’s funeral because it clashes with DC’s birthday” as actually prioritising the kids or putting them first, more like setting them up to be very entitled.

thecutecouple Fri 22-Feb-19 14:09:07

I think as parents, we make sacrifices to give our DC as good a quality of life as possible. There is a big difference between giving into necessity and giving into desires. Children should have a warm, clean home and food and warmth. Children do not need to go to softplay every day. Softplay is a treat and a luxury. Compromise on the amount of softplay and take them to the park or play some fun games. It's midterm so they're probably bored.

hammeringinmyhead Fri 22-Feb-19 14:16:23

I think temporarily disappointing children is far more acceptable than many adults seem to think. I remember waking up on my 9th birthday and it was raining so we didn't go to Flamingo Land. At the time I was upset but my parents' desire not to drive three hours and pay £60 to go on the few rides that would have been open rightly trumped me being disappointed. We went another time.

I'm all for things like SAHP sending child to nursery for a break, or putting child in front of the TV so he/she can have a cuppa. I think parental mental health is always as important as a child's needs as they are intertwined.

adrienneJ Fri 22-Feb-19 14:18:49

Totally agree. My husband and my marriage come first and everything else falls into place. I have 2 happy wonderful kids getting top grades.

Not that there's anything wrong with putting kids first but I don't think it benefits them much and can lead to them growing up with a sense of entitlement believing they're more important than everyone else.

clairemcnam Fri 22-Feb-19 14:20:36

I think it is about balance. In my family we balance needs and wants of different family members.

TacoLover Fri 22-Feb-19 14:23:38

My children don’t always come first, but they never, ever come second.

confusedwhat? This makes no sense.

Vixxxy Fri 22-Feb-19 14:27:37

Adult wants never trump children’s needs. But the opposite is also true, and children’s wants don’t trump adult needs. But in my eyes, children’s needs do trump adult needs.

Yes, I agree with this.

notanothernam Fri 22-Feb-19 14:33:50

I agree. You state they do not always come first and I think anyone who puts their children above all else, all the time, is not doing their child any justice. I do not subscribe to the view my children should be the centre of my universe all the time, sometimes for a variety of reasons, I have to put my own needs first, or my husband's, or my mum's, or their cousin's, because that is life and we all matter. The very nature of their vulnerability does mean of course that they are prioritised the majority of the time.

ThisoneThatoneTheOtherone Fri 22-Feb-19 14:46:32

Agree that "wants" and "needs" are not the same thing. I know one mum who brags that she'll cancel any commitment, no matter how important, if her preschooler tells her not to go out. Not just if the child is ill or has experienced a distressing event, but even if he's just decided that mummy isn't allowed to have a life that day. I can well believe that the mother puts that philosophy into practice: I've never seen her finish a meal because she prioritises her child's "need" to jump on her and hit her above her own need to eat. She's very vocal about her belief that her children are going to grow up more secure than other kids because their desires always come before everything else. To me, they just seem like everyone else's kids, but maybe a little more aggressive and anxious (because, let's face it, it must be a bit scary to have that much power over your parent at that age?). Surely it comes down to balance? If you fall somewhere in between the extremes of neglecting your kids and martyring yourself to their every want, they'll probably be ok.

adrienneJ Fri 22-Feb-19 14:54:59

The type that are 'my kids always come first no matter what' usually have kids that grow up to be morons.

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