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Senior Correspondent

I never cease to be amazed by the reactions people sometimes have to things I say. A significant number of women were outraged by my last post. I asserted that in a family, the husband/wife relationship should come first, meaning it should outweigh the relationship between parent and child. Said another way, the marriage is the most important relationship in the family and that should be clear to the children. Husband and wife should pay more attention to one another than they pay to the children, infants being a temporary exception.

I now stand accused of having no real understanding of what being a parent is all about. In addition, that I am not cognizant of, or sensitive to the emotional needs of children. Make no mistake, the majority of people who responded to this post have a grip on common sense, they agreed with me, but the emotional virulence of the opposition was almost palpable.

I have said this before in this column, but it obviously bears repeating: I am a member of the last generation of American children to grow up in marriage-centric households. To people my age, the notion that the marriage trumps the parent/child relationship is common sense. Nothing puts a more solid foundation of security under a child’s feet than the knowledge that his/her parents are in a committed relationship.

Then again, people my age are also painfully aware that common sense has given way to political correctness, especially in the raising of children. Today, the Good Mommy Club definition of proper child-rearing is a highly destructive doctrine.

The list of things the Good Mommy is supposed to be doing for her children is dogmatic. The Good Mommy is in a near-constant state of high-energy parenting—she never stops thinking about and doing for her kids. Therefore, something her grandmother did with relatively little effort is stressful, rife with anxiety, self-doubt, and guilt. Child-rearing for these women in exhausting. In this context, to hear from a parenting pundit that you are exhausted simply because your priorities are out of order must be infuriating.

I get it, believe me. Unfortunately, the folks who were outraged by said post do not.

Family psychologist John Rosemond: johnrosemond.com, parentguru.com.

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