As parents, it should be an impulse to consider our children and place them first in many, if not most, situations. They need us and not for very long so we should take this as a golden opportunity and not a chore.
With that said, do I have to even tell you how many parents I would love to ask "Why the Hell did you have kids?" Kids may seem to be the perfect designer accessory when creating that quintessential white picket fence family, but they're not a pair of shoes or even a purse dog... they're people! You have to play with them, teach them, talk to them, show interest in who they are. You can't just take them out of the closet for the company family picnic, in an attempt to present a vision of familial bliss. Considering the little people in your house only as "your children" and not as Tommy and Mary, is the quickest way to raise children who treat others like property, and that includes you. What comes around goes around. What an incredibly lousy example you've set.
[Now for the purposes of my blog, I use the words my daughter and my husband and my blah-blah-blah. But I can assure you, those words feel alien to me to type or speak or even think and I do it only for security reasons.]
Likewise, there are the parents on the other side of the equation. The ones that have nothing but praise for their perfect progeny - and, of course, the way they've raised them. So blinded by their own creation they can't see the immense flaws in their "perfect" children. Unfortunately neither can the children whose heads are so full of baseless compliments, they wonder at the age of 20 why no one claps and says "good job" when they remember to wash their hands after using the potty. What relationships will this child form if their only goal is to be constantly bathed in false praise?
In both cases, though seemingly on opposite sides of the equation, the children are ultimately treated like possessions born solely for the purpose of making their parents look better. How sad. Some self involved parents, now clearly defensive about what I've written, may ask me in rebuttal, "Why did you have children?" To which I am quick to state, because I couldn't wait to meet the little person who would be born of my husband and I. Maybe to right some wrongs in my own childhood. Possibly to meet the challenge of parenthood. Definitely because I knew I loved her, as herself, before she was even conceived... and you should know that that all comes from a person who in her teens and 20s thought seriously about never having children.
So who should come first - the child or the ego?
The answer is clear. It is, for the brief moment while they are children, the child. Ego has no place in parenthood. Treat your children more or less than who they are and you will have very little to brag about anyway. Treat your children as individuals with their own special personalities and be praised for your role in their upbringing each and every day.