Children - a gift or an expense

@savak03 (6681)
United States
September 6, 2009 8:30am CST
A very good friend of mine sent me an email about a study that was done to calculate the cost of raising children. In this study they determined that it took $160,140.00 to raise one child from birth to 18 years old. That amount is staggering but broken down it gives a better idea of what is required. $189,140.00 18 years $ 8,896.66 per year $ 741.38 per month $ 171.08 per week $ 24.24 per day or just over one dollar per hour. Now it doesn't seem like all that much, but for those of us who are constantly struggling financially that is still a staggering sum. There was a slide show attached that detailed the return you get on this investment and I wish I could include it in it's entirety here but it was way too long. However, the last paragraph sums it up nicely and so I quote: [i]"In the eyes of a child, you rank right up there under God. You have all the power to heal a boo boo, scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, ground them forever, and love them without limits - so one day they will, like you, love without counting the cost."[/i] What are we teaching our children? Are we teaching them to love without counting the cost? Or are we teaching them to hate?
6 people like this
22 responses
@Poison_Girl (4163)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Well, if you ask me... In my opinion, children are NOT a gift, but a HUGE expense and a curse. I don't like kids and NEVER want any, though. One of my MANY reasons for never wanting any is because they're simply just TOO expensive. I can barely take care of myself. There's no way I'd be able to take care of myself AND an ungrateful brat.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Not everyone is cut out to be a parent. It's good you realized this before you saddled yourself with any.
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@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Sep 09
well that will save having a miserable child who knows he or she was unwanted too.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Yes it will. And on a personal note I will add here that I was raised by my paternal grandmother who only did it out of duty. Since she truly believed I was the child of her husband and her son's wife she could muster no love for me. She did her duty but both of us missed so much. By the way, I later proved she was wrong but she never believed me.
@patofgold23 (5075)
• Philippines
6 Sep 09
children are gifts savak!! though we can't deny we do have a lot of expenses when we have kids... but i don't really mind spending for my kids....
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@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
If we didn't spend it on our kids something else would happen to spend it on. The return from the love we receive from our kids more than offsets any expense incurred.
• Philippines
6 Sep 09
i totally agree with you there... spending it on our kids is so much worth it.
@pjsr18 (340)
• Philippines
6 Sep 09
Even if children do add to a parent' expenses, I think we should also consider that they bring them joy and courage when times get them down. Children are gifts from God. Just one smile from them, and all the tireness of the people around would disappear. I just want to share that everytime my salary comes, I always buy my niece gift and because of that, I don't have anything to save but everytime I'm tired and she smiles at me or hug me and kiss me, all the pain goes away. It's as if she's my pain reliever.
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@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Money cannot comfort us when we are tired or sick but the love of a child can.
@mikeysmom (2092)
• United States
6 Sep 09
i don't care what the cost is to raise my child. i love him more than anything and you cannot put a price tag on that.
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@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
In reality you cannot put a price tag on the love of and for a child just as you can't put a price tag on the services rendered by a housewife.
@James72 (26829)
• Australia
6 Sep 09
First and foremost, they're a gift, no question! Can we really consider these things to truly be an expense when you compare the costs to what we get in return? Can we even place a value on our children? A very similar quote I've heard to the one you shared is "Mother is God in the eyes of a child!" and it's oh so true! Who they become, what they grow up to believe and feel; how they view the world..... It's all in our hands and yes, I do believe that in some cases we as a society are instiling bad habits and misguided ideals in today's children. The core values behind "Do as I do, not what I say!" seem to have diminished somewhat in my opinion and we tend to be hypocritical a lot of the time. Survival of the fittest has taken on new and sometimes detrimental forms as well. Are we neglecting to nurture our children in order to fight the fight for existence these days? Sometimes I really do think that we are! Even basic things like manners and respect towards others is a solid example of a decline.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Yes, the popular saying today is "do as I say, not as I do" however that will never work because kids learn primarily by example. I agree that some of us are not teaching our kids a moral code. When a fast food chain has to script the words please and thank you into the way the employees take your order it shows the mistakes parents are making.
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@seekers (393)
6 Sep 09
that's a very good count, but I guess we should not count the cost on how we spend on raising a child. the happiness that they give to parents is not quantifiable by money. The values that we can instill to them are part of the so called profits of parents, to see them as mature and upright individuals. Children are God's gift to us.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Children are indeed God's gift. We get so much more back than we give. It's a win win situation.
@miamilady (4924)
• United States
6 Sep 09
They are BOTH. A gift and an expense. I have two children. They are teenagers now and they are extremely expensive. Sometimes they are frustrating as crap. And they are just now beginning to comprehend the value of money and that we can't always buy everything that we want. But despite the "expense" the benefits of having my two children far alway the "cost" of the money we've spend. Trying to compare the value of a relationship with the value of money is pretty much impossible. There are two very different things. I remember right before I chose to have my first child, I told a friend that we were waiting for "the right time". We were waiting to be in a better financial position and I know I waiting to be in a better position emotionally. She said "it will never be the right time". What she meant was that there will always be a reason to wait, if you look for it. This doesn't mean that people should have children without making sure that they are ready for the responsibilities, but you also have to realize that no matter how "ready" you feel there will always be challenges and things will arise that you never even imagined.
1 person likes this
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Since this is an imperfect world the time will never be "right" for any decision we are contemplating. We just have to make the decision and then do the best we can. If we all waited until the time was right to have children the population would soon drop to zero.
• Australia
6 Sep 09
I am the mother of 5 wonderful sons, all now adult and married with happy families of their own. Recent figures here in Australia claim the cost of bringing up a child from birth to 21 years of age is $250,000 which boils down to $32.60 a day. A gift or an expense? Definitely and without any qualifications at all, a GIFT! We never even thought about the cost of rearing our children. Each one was a very welcome gift. We accepted the responsibility of bringing them up and did our best, and I am most happy with the results. The boys married women ideally suited to them. They have great educations, are working in top jobs, and best of all, they have families which are a credit to society. I am sure their children are GIFTS and the cost is not considered.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
I have been very gratified to find that all the responses here have been in support of the fact that children are a gift and worth any expense. Too often as I observe young parents today, especially shopping in stores, I am amazed at the anger that is projected toward these gifts. When I hear these same parents cursing at their children like they would some drunk in a bar it's all I can do to keep from going over and shaking some sense into them. I just cry for these small souls that have to live through that kind of abuse.
• Australia
7 Sep 09
I have worked in children's ministry for more than 40 years. For the last ten years I have been working more than full time (voluntary work) in children's ministry. I work with a structured, disciplined International body which supplies program and materials for mid-week meetings for children from 3 year old through high school, and trains for leadership. While disciplined, this is by positive (not negative) discipline, where self-value is given to the child. I have found that most "bad" behaviour can be attributed to a lack of self esteem, which is mostly because the child has not learned that he is a gift, with enormous value. Like you, I cannot stand to see a child being "put down" by anyone, and especially not by parents. Last week I actually spoke (kindly) to a parent whom I overheard telling her child she would give him away if he didn't behave, but she wasn't impressed. She said she really would give her child away if she could. I cannot understand such people.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
I cannot understand a parent like that either. I have seen so much of it I have to bite my tongue because if I ever let myself speak to that parent I'm afraid I would not be able to contain my own anger. Keep up the good work.
@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
7 Sep 09
Hi there! I don't have kids yet cause I am single but I have a nephew. Does that count? Anyways, in my understanding having children is a part of a family. They are God's gift cause not all are given the ability to bear a child. And once you have kids that would also include responsibilities that comes with it. The responsibilities includes, teaching them to be good, to be responsible, to guide them, to have them sent to school and to give them all that they could possibly need and in doing so, as the child grows, they will incur expenses, which is also a part of a parent's responsibility. We must not think of children as an expense. Spending for them is a part of being a parent. Ciao!
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Gaining experience from nephews or even younger siblings definitely counts. I applaud the fact that you choose not to have kids while you are single. Children need two parents. Also I think that when you do have children they will be blessed because you seem to have a very good outlook on the joys and responsibilities of raising children.
@iskayz (5422)
• Philippines
8 Sep 09
I guess I'm used to responsibilities of taking care of something. I mean I have pets and I do take care of them just like my own children. In fact, they are even more difficult than having kids.
@smacksman (6074)
6 Sep 09
My 'kids?' are 37 and 35 and still cost me money!! haha So if you take that $160K to 18 and double it .... Aaaaaargh!! No wonder I'm broke! However, they are worth every penny of and I wouldn't change it for the world. It remonds me of the press releases when there is a demo or a riot or something and they say that the police protection cost mega thousands of dollars. How come? Did they suddenly recruit another 1000 police. Come on, they were being paid anyway! So my kids cost me. Yes they did. But what is the alternative? No kids? No contest.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
6 Sep 09
Well, I might change a few things, but not the decision to have kids. Mine have been a joy and trial. But I would never have not wanted them.
@smacksman (6074)
6 Sep 09
Absolutely A1 right! The very best decision I ever made 40 years ago was to marry my wife and have children.
@xannebull (1806)
• Philippines
7 Sep 09
children are a gift from God, every parents would be happy to have children no matter what is the position of their financial situation. we don't have to count on the expenses that we have for our children because love is unconditional.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Every parent should be happy to have children, no matter what. Sadly though that is not always the case. Love of and for your children should be unconditional but there are, unfortunately, adults that can only think of themselves. I feel sorry for the kids born to families like that.
@jules67 (2790)
• Philippines
7 Sep 09
I believe that children should be considered a gift and not an expense. They were brought into this world out of love. All of hardships, trials, challenges or like you have mentioned that come with rearing a child will be overlooked once we see them as a blessing or as a gift. These innocent lives that have been brought up in this world will see themselves as great contributions to humanity if they are reared well by the parents.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Indeed, if everyone had the right view of children we would not see reports of abandonment and abuse. We should treasure these gifts.
@23uday (2998)
• India
7 Sep 09
Hi friend, Yes,childrens are a gift but not a expense. A woman wants a baby and thinks its a gift to him a child. Every woman will be happy and when birth to a child she is a gift of to her child. have a great day.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Well, it does cost money to raise and care for a child, but it is not an unwelcome expense. Most people who want and have children don't give two thoughts to the money being spent.
@mouse27 (1155)
• Canada
7 Sep 09
i personally think that if someone thinks of there kids as an expense they shouldn't have kids. yes kids cost money but so do us adults and we probably cost more money to keep alive and happy then the kids do... kids are definatly a gift meant to bring some hope for a better future. thats my belief
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
And a very good belief it is, too. I agree with your statement about adults being expensive to maintain. Have you seen the cost of so called grown up "toys" like game systems and boats and such?
• India
7 Sep 09
This post would have created a havoc in ther minds of parents who are childless. Children are the real gift who give us happiness in return. Yes we may have to incur a lot of expenses in bringing them up but when compared to the joy of having a child the expenses just fade away like darkness in sunlight. I feel children should also understand the difficulties parents take to bring them up as good human beings.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Surprisingly I haven't heard from anyone who desperately wants a child and yet doesn't have one. Or if I did they didn't mention that in their post. I, too, feel children need to have an understanding of the reality of life. That, however is up to the parents to teach them. Some parents, like my daughter, want to shield her children from the realities of being broke or of disagreements between her and their father. She thinks these things will rob them of their childhood. I am trying to make her see that kids are much more resilient than that and that they need to know the reality of life to keep them from becoming self centered and, dare I say it, selfish.
@dolmitta (221)
• India
7 Sep 09
Hi Children are beautiful gift given by God. I guess expense is a part of ever human's life. So we should not think about expense when it comes to kids, instead love them. So i think its the couple's responsibility to plan out things before having a child and leave the rest to God.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Yes, life is expensive but the real treasure is the love we share with each other and our kids. I like your thought that we leave the things we cannot control to God. He can and will handle them.
• China
7 Sep 09
Children is a gift for each family Binging up children need expense, but they will bing more happy and passion life, if one family don't have childre, it seems to lost something. And why we earn money, just for us, No, it's also for children, children are our responsibility.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Very good points eye. Money should be the means to an end, not the end in itself. Money will be spent or lost but the love of a child lasts forever.
@vira109 (36)
• China
7 Sep 09
Yeah, it's true that the cost of raising children is higher and higher, but the happiness brought by children is priceless.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Priceless. I like that word. It really fits the memories I have (good and bad) of raising my own children. Now I get to use the lessons I learned then to help shape my grand kids.
@Hatley (164654)
• Garden Grove, California
7 Sep 09
hi savak03 I hope most of us are teaching our childrento love without counting the cost.I know some do fail with their children but I like to think most are trying their best with love and' teaching to raise children who will also love without counting' the cost. that is a lovely way of saying it too.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
In a perfect world it would be so. Unfortunately we don't live in a perfect world. This world that we live in is always harping on counting the cost. Otherwise why would they do studies like the one I cited? Being a money driven society is so sad.
@lynnemg (4539)
• United States
7 Sep 09
Children are a precious gift that happens to require a lot, in many aspects of life, financial apsects are just one of them. I love each and every one of my kids, and I would not trade any of them for anything in the world, but they know that there are times when I just simply cannot afford to buy them things they want or take them special places. More importantly, they also know that even though they may not have everything that they want, they have everything that they need and all of the love in the world.
@savak03 (6681)
• United States
7 Sep 09
I always taught my kids that balance, too. I wish my daughter had done the same with her kids. She wanted to give them everything they wanted so she didn't make them understand there were limits on what she could provide. Now that we are all living together I am trying to make them understand. It is not good to let kids grow up thinking they can have everything they want instantly. That makes for an unbalanced and selfish adult.
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