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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.

MamaDane Sat 23-Feb-19 22:59:56

Oh and I'm talking about relatives not strangers through.
My DP would be above any random child of course grin

Dontbesogross Sat 23-Feb-19 23:16:10

I’m a childless teacher and have been in the job for longer than some of your kids have been alive, does that mean I have no responsibility?

Someone please come and tell all my students parents that 😂

onthenaughtystepagain Sat 23-Feb-19 23:20:36

No, they are not always the most important thing. Prioritise feeding, sheltering and taking care of their needs. They do not get to decide what takeaway we get, what programme we watch, when we leave the restaurant. They're children, and I am their parent, not their best friend.

At last, some sense!
Reading through these posts where the child must always come first one can understand why so many children struggle at school when they are shocked to learn that they are not the centre of the known universe.

PurpleDaisies Sat 23-Feb-19 23:32:07

Children and those who haven't got children don't understand what responsibility is - the children shouldn't have to, the adults should

Oh good. Since I can’t uberstabd responsibility, I must have been given mine by mistake. Who can I give them back to?

ScreamingValenta Sat 23-Feb-19 23:36:25

Children and those who haven't got children don't understand what responsibility is


CrazyAllAroundMe Sun 24-Feb-19 08:24:00

Coming in late to the thread and haven't read it all sorry. I put my children's basic needs above my own. Always will. Wants.. Sometimes I do sometimes I don't - my children have boundaries and it's not healthy or natural to have them believe they're more important than anyone else. Loved yes important no. BUT just within my circle of friends and children's friends I can tell you those parents who put the DC on a pedestal and meet every whim and want have bred arseholes. From the older ones so far in one case produced a very ungrateful rude to the point she makes her Mum cry, sullen & nasty little mare and the other a stranger commented to her Dad about the obnoxious snobby comments coming from her in an airport lounge.

I'll just carry on mostly with what I'm doing. Children in general do know too much and get too much and get away with doing too little mine included and it's difficult to change I'm working on that it's a learning curve for sure. We can only do our best.

ReaganSomerset Sun 24-Feb-19 08:29:50


I don't think I've seen anyone suggesting always giving kids their own way. I think the discussion has been needs-focused, and many posters have explicitly distinguished needs from wants in their response.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 24-Feb-19 08:34:20

Parents needs come before children's needs. Because if your own basic needs aren't being met, you can't look after your child properly and your child will end up suffering more. If you're doing okay, your child will be fine.

I don't mean if there's only enough food for one, your child doesn't get fed. But I do mean, don't starve yourself to feed your child, because your child will find being looked after by a parent who is unable to function through hunger much more traumatic than being a bit hungry. If I only had enough food for one, I would share the food equally between us.

If parents don't look after their own basic needs, marriages fail, parents get stressed and angry and ill and unable to parent properly and children end up miserable. Put your own oxygen mask on first. For your children's sake as well as your own.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 24-Feb-19 08:41:29

I had this exact conversation with the HV when I took DS for his two-year checkup.
Her: Do you give him vit D?
Me: Oh yes, every day.
Her: And yourself?
Me: Er ... I used to, but I've gotten out of the habit a bit.
Her: And has he been to the dentist?
Me: Oh yes, my DH took him.
Her: And yourself?
Me: Well ... I haven't got round to organising it yet ...
Her: Parents always say their consternation needs are more important than their own. They're wrong. Your needs are more important. Look after your own needs and your family will be fine. Neglect your own needs and everything falls apart.

I've never forgotten it.

CheerfulMuddler Sun 24-Feb-19 08:42:23

*children's not consternation

Leapfrog44 Sun 24-Feb-19 08:44:19

Happy adults generally make happy children. Unhappy adults don't usually do a great job at raising happy, resilient kids. It depends on the context though.

LaFreaka Sun 24-Feb-19 08:46:37

I cannot think of an occasion where we've had to ration needs to the kids first - everyone's needs have always been met without hierarchy - what kind of needs are people referring to, maybe we are exceptionally fortunate but there has always been enough food, shelter and warmth and everyone has been safe and loved? Are we just speaking theoretically? - I know a few have referred to the oxygen in the plane thing - but despite travelling on planes quite often I have never needed to get oxygen, not once - it's not like it's a frequent dilemma!

CheerfulMuddler Sun 24-Feb-19 09:10:04

what kind of needs are people referring to

Well, I have a three-year-old. On any given week, I try and make sure he's fed healthy, nutritious meals without too much fat and sugar. I try and make sure he gets enough sleep, and insist he goes to bed at a reasonable time even if he doesn't want to. I try and make sure he gets enough exercise.
Every day he gets vitamins and clean clothes with no holes in them. I try and make sure he sees his friends often enough to maintain a relationship. He has a party every year for his birthday. If he expresses interest in a hobby, I try and give him time to fulfill that, either by joining a football club or just kicking a ball around the park.
If he's ill, I take him to the doctor's. If the doctor prescribed medication, I make sure he takes it, even if he doesn't want to.

I don't always manage all of this all of the time, but I consider aiming for it a basic minimum of decent parenting.

When was the last time I even tried to do all of this stuff for myself? I can't remember but it was pre-children. If you really manage it, you're a better woman than me.

Broken11Girl Sun 24-Feb-19 09:12:28

Cheerful, exactly, the 'put your own oxygen mask on first' thing isn't it. A parent's basic needs have to be met in order to take care of their children's. If said parent is struggling in any way, it's their responsibility to get help. Being a martyr helps no-one.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sun 24-Feb-19 10:39:11

The problem comes if there's only 1 mask though.

When people say how do things go in real life then rather than wondering on here, looking to places like Syria and seeing the the range of responses to mortal danger and what happens with families is going to be a better indicator than guessing.

In fact. of course, there is a range of responses as on here because different people react and prioritise in different ways and make different decisions as people are all different.

NothingOnTellyAgain Sun 24-Feb-19 10:40:27

" If said parent is struggling in any way, it's their responsibility to get help"

I haven;t caught up on whole thread after someone had a pretty random go at me earlier for saying something really very uncontraversial!

Does this comment refer to mental health issues?

NothingOnTellyAgain Sun 24-Feb-19 10:43:02

Of course there are a lot of situations where there is no help.

Like Syria. Or the pics of Venezuela right now where they won't let the aid through and there are pics of women begging the soldiers.

"Just get help" is very glib.
And in bad times there are never enough "oxygen masks" for everyone, which is where the difficulty comes from. And the question. Who to prioritise. I said I would feed my children before myself, and save them first if eg there was a fire. Other people have different ideas. Everyone is different.

Bozlem80 Sun 24-Feb-19 18:17:02

I’ve always put my kids needs before my own, been a mum since the age of 16, I worry about them all my eldest is nearly 22, I desperately need new clothes, shoes, glasses my hair dyeing/cutting but my kids always come first & are dressed & well looked after I just walk around like nobody owns me 😂

piratehooker Sun 24-Feb-19 19:45:34

I’m child free at the moment so no children come before me and my partner. We would put both of us and each other before children family members.

That's also a good point, where we've been saying 'adults', maybe we should be saying 'parents' in many of the situations discussed. Because a random child's needs don't (for me) come above the needs and/or wants (to a certain extent) of an adult loved one of my own, be it grandparent, parent, sibling, partner etc.

Broken11Girl Mon 25-Feb-19 07:09:43

Not sure why my comment seems to have irked you, Nothing. smile
It's a nebulous question really, without knowing what specific situation we're talking about. I'm sure most parents would feed their child over themselves, take a bullet for them etc if such a dramatic situation happened. I didn't read the OP as referring to war zones though.
I wasn't glib. The 'get help' bit could refer to mental health, yes, or more generally just with life with young kids, physical health, kids' SN or behaviour, financially, whatever. Believe me, I know it's not that easy to get MH help. The parent has resources available, although it might not seem like it. Plenty of posts on here from mums terrified of going to their GP etc to get mh help, parenting help, a food bank voucher, because they think the professionals will judge them, involve SS, the kids will be removed etc. Or who don't ask a friend or relative to help. Etc. It's martyrdom. I do understand the fear. What good, ultimately, is a parent who can't cope, is suffering untreated MH, is hungry, miserable, never does anything for themselves? That doesn't make them able to fulfil the kid's needs either. They might actually resent the kid and be struggling to parent. What I'm saying is, it isn't necessarily as simple as a conflict between the kid's and adult's needs, but actually both are linked. It's not a question of one or the other. Just a thought.

Broken11Girl Mon 25-Feb-19 07:15:51

I had read the OP as meaning parents, yes. I wouldn't necessarily put a random child before myself or another adult. I'd do what I could eg help a small child that's lost its parent/ carer in a shop if I had nowhere to be, or something I could be a few minutes late for. I adore my nieces and nephew but wouldn't automatically sacrifice my needs for theirs, depends on the situation.

PBo83 Mon 25-Feb-19 12:06:29

No, they are not always the most important thing. Prioritise feeding, sheltering and taking care of their needs. They do not get to decide what takeaway we get, what programme we watch, when we leave the restaurant. They're children, and I am their parent, not their best friend.

Definitely this

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