Money or Attention? Which is more important in raising a child?
Procreation is how we keep our race going as human beings. Also, because it is imperative that we raise upstanding individuals in society, children are precious gifts that deserve the very best care possible. We are happy when we have children – at least most of the time. Even if we aren’t, we are obligated to cherish them and equip them with vital skills to live in this crazy world. Money and attention, among other things, are particularly regarded to be as important as they come in child upbringing. However, if it ever comes down to choosing from the first two, which would be more important in raising a child, money or attention?
You may wonder where I’m going with this. It’s a really interesting question because many people will go with money and just as many will go with attention. In the end, they could both be right depending on the circumstances. Why? Apparently because nothing is ever black or white as you may have noticed.
Money is a tool that we use to make things happen literally. Money makes the world go round, this is a fact. You need money to provide the basic needs which are food, clothing, shelter, and all other forms of good living. You need to put your kids in great schools to give them the best education and connections. Why? Because knowing the right people is a major key to success, and only parents can give their children this vital advantage. Moreso because we live in a stratified society which is sort of like a caste system.
These are the reasons why some parents don’t mind going all-out just to put their wards in schools that cost millions of naira. You’re not just paying for quality, which is definitely vital but also that your child builds a powerful network. When your child grows up, has big dreams and needs investors or partners, this network will come in handy compared to some others who do not have the same opportunity. Money doesn’t grow on trees but a financial cushion goes a long way in any child’s education and development. Children also need healthcare which isn’t cheap. It is pretty obvious that having a child is no mean feat. Therefore, it is important that you plan before you embark on this journey.
Attention on the other hand, is without a doubt, also very important in raising a child well. I believe anything that has your attention flourishes – whether good or bad. Attention in this context is largely your time and engagement. As a parent, it is vital that you spend as much time with your kids. It is this attention that helps shape them into individuals who will integrate into society. This attention helps them with character development which is an essential part of raising kids. Showing a child that certain things are right and certain things are wrong, and thereafter allowing this child see you living up to this ideal in your words and actions does a lot for their character development.
Parents are heroes in their children’s eyes. They mirror all your actions and you need to be present to ensure that they act right because if you’re not available, they end up mirroring other people’s actions. This might not yield the best of results. For example, there was a child I knew who got her first cigarette from the maid and this is the reality for lots of people. Even their friends, might be a bad influence for these kids. When you’re not available to correct them, they continue until it becomes part and parcel of them. Your presence, therefore, is priceless.
The world right now does not encourage proper upbringing. Back in the day, members of our extended family and even neighbors helped to keep an eye on our children- the village used to raise the child. The world now is more individualistic and parents are increasingly taking on careers that make them unavoidably absent. This leaves the kids in the hands of less ideal people including overworked teachers, loose acquaintances and maids. This is the reality of today’s society. Parents often have to make the impossible choice between being there for their kids and having to fend for the family.
The family unit is the bedrock of society and charity they say, begins at home. We need more humane and decent people in our society, people who are empathic and can co-exist with others in harmony. When you don’t have time for your kids, you leave them vulnerable to all sorts of external trauma. It might be bullying, events that trigger low self-esteem, or more severe abuse. We can’t be in many places at once but we can mitigate a lot of things by being more available. When we’re planning the financial angle of raising kids factor in time as well, time to raise these kids. We need to be present for their events, it curates a special kind of bond when your child knows that you will show up regardless
I understand that there are no ideal situations but a little effort always goes a long way.
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