When adults reach a certain age, the expectation of them having their own family increases; they are expected to raise a child just as their parents raised them. The problem is, some parents see children as an investment or an expense.
Some parents, because they supported their children financially, think they are indebted to them and that their children should pay them back and take care of them when they grow old. This notion sparked a dilemma that the world had trouble fixing, that is, until recently.
Older people instill in the minds of their offspring that the reason to have a child is to have someone to take care of you when you grow old. Most millennials oppose this mindset.
On the other hand, the younger generation views children as a lifetime responsibility you can’t just abandon. That’s why some millennials are making the decision not to have children.
They have this idea that raising a child in today’s world will cost them so much financially, mentally, and emotionally because they understand all too well that a child is a responsibility that a parent chooses.
Some people who dreamt of being parents one day are now rethinking their decision because looking at a child as an investment or expense has been implanted in their minds since they were children themselves.
With the debate garnering thousands—if not millions—of opinions and reactions on the Internet, most millennials have come to an understanding that children’s main role in a family is to be loved and looked after. They are not to be treated as an investment nor viewed as an expense.
While it is true that parents should shower their children with love, it is not entirely wrong to teach them how to live frugally. For example, working on credit scores when they are financially stable or teaching budgeting to children at a young age will help them understand how to prioritise their needs while saving for their wants. If understood well, this can help them grasp setting goals and planning how to achieve them. Handling finances when they become adults can become a cause of stress if not taught at a young age.
If a couple wants to be parents, they should be ready for this lifetime commitment and responsibility. Eldercare should not be the main reason to want to have offspring. Children are not indebted to their parents just because they raised them, gave them a home, fed them, and financed their education. All these things are obligations that parents need to fulfil since they decided to have children.
So, while growing a family, make sure you won’t be dependent on your children. Never treat them as an investment that can be redeemed when you grow old.
Looking at children as an expense or investment is unfair. It is not a child’s choice to be born; he or she is your responsibility and not the other way around. Your child is not your property. Children will eventually develop their own beliefs about how they want their lives to be. And, as a parent, you need to be supportive as long as it does not harm them or any other human being.
People say that when a person becomes a parent they become selfless—they are willing to do everything for their children’s welfare, even if it means being left with nothing for themselves.
Essentially, children should be viewed as symbols of love: a product of a couple's love for each other. The main reason for wanting to have children should be the desire to raise a wonderful person in this world, which can also be the parents’ drive to be good examples to their children.
It is not bad to give them everything they need and want, as long as you can provide it. It should be your number one goal as a parent to give your children a comfortable life. Making a physically and mentally comfortable home for your children can be their peace. It is a fulfilment if you get to be the person that you want while teaching your children how they should become.
The actions that they see from you can guide adulthood, so make sure that, as parents, you are doing the things you want to instill in your children. Being ready, in all aspects, can help a lot in raising children. The only return on investment that you should crave is seeing your children become the best version of themselves.
About the author
Aussy Aportadera is pursuing an unhurried life in the beachside town of La Union, Philippines. After a career in communications and publishing, she is now a yoga teacher and co-owner of a ceramics brand.