'Your kids do not come first': Texas dad's controversial opinion on parenting sparks debate
Parenting is never easy. Different types of parents have a different set of rules for their children, and perhaps no two couples are the same. And in the midst of all this, a 28-year-old father of two from Dallas, Texas, has come up with a new ideology that has created quite a stir on the internet.
Matt Martin recently wrote an article on marriage and children that was published by Love What Matters. This piece has some quite controversial ideas about parenting that have grabbed the attention of thousands of parents who are either for or against it. In this article about marriage and children, the father of young twin boys, stresses that a marriage is actually between two people and that children should not come first for any of the partners. At the beginning of the article, Martin writes that marriage is between two people and God and that their relationship should be more important than anything else.
"My Aunt Steph, one of the smartest, most blunt people I know, told me before I got married, 'People say you marry the family too. That's not true. Your marriage is between you two.' I'm not saying your family isn't important. I value my family a lot (not as much as my wife does, but still…). You need them to lean on when life gets hard and to lift you guys up, but I didn't marry her mom and she didn't marry my dad. We had to learn to go to each other first when life threw us curveballs, instead of instinctually going to our parents. We're a family now, and that family comes first," Martin wrote in the blog post.
In the article, the 28-year-old father of twin boys added that being married and having children shouldn't be preventing one from achieving their personal goals. Partners should be supportive of each other in achieving their goals.
"Our pastor told us in a pre-marital counseling session, that as a couple we'd have goals, and as individuals we would have goals. To succeed as a couple, we would both tackle those goals. Sometimes I would be the captain (like when tackling mine) and sometimes Sara would be. But we'd both be working towards that goal. That's the beauty of marriage. You've got this life partner to raise you up. Like Kim and Kanye," Martin added.
But here is the part of that article that has gotten many people talking. "A big humongous monstrosity of a lesson I've learned that I PRAY that all of you will strongly take into consideration, is that your kids do not come first. Our kids are sooo important and are the future and all that fun jazz, but what's best for them is a beautiful example of two people who love each other (and God). Another great thing for them to know is that they are not the center of the universe. Sorry if you're reading this in the future, Jack and Cam and any other children we may have had, but you're not the center of my universe. Sometimes I've wanted you to be really badly, but that's not going to do you any favors, and it won't do me any favors when you leave home (please leave home). You can't put your spouse on the back burner for eighteen years and then say 'Oh, hey, you can be my number one again.'"
In his article, Martin makes an important point about parenting. He believes that parenting children in a way that they believe they are the center of the universe is definitely bad for them in the long run. When parents cater to a child's every whim, it creates a sense of entitlement.
The piece has led to a lot of discussion on the Batdad Facebook page. While many users agreed with the points that Martin was making about marriage being the primary relationship in a family, others disagreed saying that a child's needs come first, above anything else.
"He’s not saying to ignore or neglect your children. Obviously you love and care for the children. But don’t revolve your life around them. If you do a proper job of parenting they will leave you and start their own lives. But your spouse is intended to be forever. Maintaining a strong bond with them is important," one user said. "A marriage needs to come first. An unstable home is detrimental to children's psychological and emotional wellbeing. My spouse and I will make our children wait for our attention of we are having a discussion that is important. Our children recognize us as a united front and also see that WE are both on their side. It gives them MORE support than if my husband and I are at odds with each other. I prioritize my marriage and my children flourish and thrive because of it," one user wrote.
"In a two-parent household, if both parents are equally involved in childcare and parenting, and work as a team, they would have more time for each other, in general. Too often, childcare falls disproportionately on only one parent," another user wrote.
Some people shared their personal experiences. "He’s not wrong. Of course my kids take priority but my wife and I purposely make time for just the two of us away from the kids. Whether that’s a date every week to two weeks, or a shirt vacation for the two of us once a year for 3-4 days while the kids stay with grandparents. Your spouse is the person you planned your life with and your kids are a product of that love and dedication. You have to take care of your marriage just as much as you do raising the kids."
Martin is a performer who wrote, directed and starred in a 2016 version of 'Little Mermaid' and wrote 2018's 'Inhumane' starring Michelle Money.