My wife and I have always found great parenting advice in the pre-flight instructions given by flight attendants, that is, that parents should put their oxygen masks on first in case of an emergency and then help their children. A parent’s first instinct is to rescue the child, but in an emergency, it’s essential to ensure your own oxygen flow before that of the child or the result may be tragic.
Several years ago, our youngest daughter was behaving badly over a long period and my wife and I despaired. But in one of the great moments of our marriage, she told me “Look, if our daughter ends up destroying her life, so be it, but I will NOT let this hurt our relationship. You come first.” I was surprised by that statement, because my wife is the ultimate “mother bear,” but she meant it, and looking back, it’s clear she always felt that way.
We’re in our 40th year of marriage and I couldn’t be happier, because my wife has always put me first and I’ve done my best to reciprocate. As a result, we have six, very responsible, productive children who, following their mother’s example, know how to treat their own spouses.
We Put Each Other First
The Dr. Laura Call of the Day Podcast