Put Children First - Put Children First means making decisions based on "what is in the best interests of the children", regardless of the consequences for the parents and any other parties involved.
If you are reading this, it is likely you are at somewhere in the middle of a long and difficult journey. On that journey there will be many forks in the road that you can't necessarily see right now. If you have children, asking yourself at each and every fork in the road: "Which way is best for the children?" and choosing that direction will help you avoid some common mistakes.
Children are often the victims in dysfunctional family situations because they are in a position of almost complete powerlessness. They have inferior physical strength with which to defend themselves. They lack the experience and mental aptitude to understand fully what is happening. They generally have no alternate means of food, shelter and emotional comfort than from their parents. Unless they can display horrific visible scars, cuts and bruises on their bodies, they have no access to legal protection from either of their parents. They may be exposed to chronic ,sustained physical emotional or sexual abuse with no escape. Parents can divorce each other, but children cannot divorce their parents.
Research has shown that the vast majority of child abuse and neglect occurs at the hands of their own parents:
In light of this, it is imperative that if you are dealing with a person who suffers from a personality disorder, your children must come first and must be your highest priority. People who suffer from personality disorders often lack the will or the ability to comprehend how their behaviors affect those around them. If you struggle with this as a grown up, imagine how difficult it is for any children involved. Therefore, you must resolve to do everything in your power to do what is in their best interest - not what is in the best interests of the person with a personality disorder or even your own best interests.
Putting children first is not just an ethical and moral obligation. It is a useful strategy in minimizing conflict within a family situation. If you have been living for a long time with a person who suffers from a personality disorder, you have probably faced numerous "impossible choices" where you feel "damned if you do and damned if you don't". Faced with situations like that, putting the children's needs ahead of your own or anybody else's can help clarify your thinking and consider the options more objectively.
Putting children first is also sound legal strategy when dealing with family court situations. "The children's best interests" is what most judges in family court are looking for when they rule in cases involving child custody.