Parents - would you sacrifice your life to save your child?

Absolutely. I don’t even have to think twice.

I think it’s instinct…preservation of the genes, what have you. I remember visiting my in-laws one day. We were all on the patio and the kids were in the pool, and my niece, who was just a toddler, somehow got herself turned upside down on her floaty and was underwater.

I was out of my seat, halfway across the patio ready to jump in the pool, but my SIL (her aunt) who was swimming with the kids, was already there and pulling her up. She wasn’t under but for a few seconds, but it’s like we didn’t even think…child relative in trouble…GO!

Is this even a question- anyone who answers no shouldn’t have had kids in the first place, and probably didn’t want to.

Without question.


It can and does occur all the time though but the odds are still low for any given parent. The problem is that you don’t even know if you, the child, or both of you will live. Nevertheless, that still fits the question in the OP. Fires and fast moving or freezing water fit the bill.

Of course. No question.

Thats very different though, when things like fires or car accidents occur people don’t conciously decide “ok im going to die but at least he’ll live”. If i saw an out of control bus heading straight for a baby carriage i would like to think i’d try my best to push it out of the way, like some people mentioned above basically out of instinct. That doesn’t mean i’ve made a concious decision to sacrifice myself to save someone elses life though, i simply reacted without thought to the consequences. If i knew it would lead to my death with 100% certainty i would most likely not do it. Most people will never be in a situation like the OP describes, thats why i said that nobody can know.

I’m only an uncle but absolutely would I sacrifice myself for my brother’s children.

Of course.

I would die a thousand times to save my child once, if that’s what it took.

Quite a plausible scenario; your child stumbles and falls off the edge of the platform at the station. There’s a train coming. There’s possibly time for you to jump down and heft your child back onto the platform, but probably not time to do anything else.

Like the others, I hope I’d put the child’s life first. Nobody really knows what they would do though. Not for sure.

I suppose that’s true, that nobody really knows. However, I cannot imagine that, in the given scenario, I would stand by and watch my child die rather than jump down there and help him. I’m certain that, if given a choice, I would much rather die myself than *watch *my child die.

Yes, absolutely. I can even be rational about it. I’ve had a pretty good long life, I ain’t afraid to die, adios!

Yep, I’d do it instantly without a second thought. I couldn’t live with myself if I let one of my kids die when the possibility existed to save them.

Yes, without question.

Whilst I could indeed make more children, they wouldn’t be the current child. I would give myself up for her without a thought.

I think you’re right, although some people (maybe including me, I hope not) might be unable to carry out their good intentions if paralysed by fear or something.

This question interests me because I have had rather selfish parents, and I am currently expecting my son’s arrival two months from now.

I suppose my parents might, just might have sacrificed themselves if it had been the “kid falls on tracks- train approaching”-scenario.

However, in everyday life things are not so clear-cut. The same parent who might jump on the tracks to save her kid, might not take the effort, or have the foresight, to make sure the kid doesn’t fall on the tracks in the first place. That parent may be annoyed to have to hold the kids hand all the time to keep it from wandering off, or she might be reading a book and resent havign to pay atenttion to the kid all the time, or she might be hesitant to put the kid on a life-saving kiddie leash because it looks odd and might get her some flack from other people.

When I think about my mom’s instinctual care for me, one anecdote comes to my mind. I was nine years old, mom was driving, the year was 1979, and I was in the front seat. Even at that age, I was completely anal about getting my seatbelt on, (the people on TV said I should, so I did, in the same annoying way kids nowadays try to get their parents to stop smoking :slight_smile: ) so I was wearing my seatbelt. I was always nagging Mom to put on hers, but she often wouldn’t, because it was “too much of a hassle” for her to put it on just for the short rides to the mall in the towns’ center.
Then a car rounded the corner unexpectedly and mom had to brake completely and suddenly, or we would have been hit, and at some speed, too. She did, we both lunged forward, and she stuck out a hand in front of me in a vague protecting gesture. She could and should have used that hand to steady herself, because she bumped into the dashboard and steering wheel hard enough to leave a bit of a bruise.
But instead she tried to protect me. Completely unneccesary, as I was wearing my seatbelt and she wasn’t.

The incident made a big impact on nine-year old me. It was a symbol of how Moms’instincts were in the right place, and also a symbol of how little good that did me. A symbol of how I still had to look after her, instead of being able to rely on her protecting me.

That’s true, but accidents do happen, regardless of how careful we are with precautions - and I don’t actually think it’s a good idea to try to insulate children from every possible or imagined risk.

Like I said in the other thread - no, probably not. I’d sacrifice much for my child (1 so far) - endure a lot of pain, give up a kidney, that sort of thing. But this notion that you owe your children your life? Not buying it, and well, anyone who thinks that makes me less of a parent, like the OP, I can’t really reply to in this forum. I’m not a salmon or an ant queen that only exists to sacrifice for my children.