Modern parenting seems to involve always putting the kids first. But a new book warns this could be harming your children and causing marital problems. Instead, to save your marriage, shift your focus to your relationship, the experts say.
All moms and dads want their kids to be happy -- but many couples are going too far by letting everything revolve around their children.
Family coach and Episcopal minister David Code believes parents have to put their relationship first -- to have the best chance of avoiding breakups and problem children. David warns focusing all your attention on your kids rather than your partner, is the equivalent of an affair, and just as damaging to a marriage.
In his new book, To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First (Crossroad Publishing), he warns trying to be best friends with your kids could lead to problems.
If a relationship is going through a rocky patch, a parent may try to fill the void by becoming too emotionally attached to their child, rather than addressing the real problems before it's too late.
David said: "We are trying too hard to give kids everything, and show them everything and spend all our time with them. This can mess with a child's process of gaining independence.
"We must regain a balance between tending our marriage and nurturing our children.
"When our marriages meet our intimacy needs, we can stop marrying our children. This frees up our kids to build their own identity, learn self-reliance and become happy, independent adults."
Many parents believe the more attention they give their kids, the better they'll turn out. But many of us may be overfocusing on our kids to escape an unfulfilling marriage. As spouses grow more distant in their marriage, they project their distress and needs on to their children. How we hurt our marriages When we over-react to our spouses, we trigger our instinctive fight or flight response which includes arguing, criticizing, blaming and distancing.
Each time you catch yourself blaming your loved one, ask yourself if you're viewing the situation correctly and what is making you anxious.
Look to your past family relationships. Research the way you interacted with siblings and parents to learn where some of your flaws came from and how to improve them.
Tips for Happy Families and Love Lives
Share the high and low points of the day with your spouse to share intimacy.
Make a weekly appointment for sex with your partner as hormones such as oxytocin and vasopressin help you bond.
To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First, by David Code (Crossroad Publishing) is available from amazon.com
Source: YellowBrix, Daily Record; Glasgow (UK)