Want happy children? Spend less time trying to be perfect parents and prioritise own relationship instead, says book

Daily Mail Online (UK) 07th February 2010

Couples who want to raise happy and successful children should spend less time striving to be perfect parents and prioritise their own relationship instead. In a new book, U.S. family therapist David Code warns that children become demanding and dissatisfied if parents obsess over all aspects of their lives. Couples who want the best for their children should focus less on becoming the ideal parent and spend more time nurturing their own relationship. Devoted parents do not necessarily produce happy children, Mr Code argues in the book To Raise Happy Kids, Put Your Marriage First. The claims are the latest salvo in an increasingly fiery debate over child-rearing.

..’Today’s number one myth about parenting is that the more attention we give our kids, the better they’ll turn out,’ said Mr Code, a family therapist and writer for the Wall Street Journal. ‘But we parents have gone too far: our over-focus on our children is doing them more harm than good. Families centred 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-centred families, where our children hold priority over our time, energy and attention. But as we break our backs for our kids, our marriage and self-fulfilment go out the window while our kids become more demanding and dissatisfied.’