One of the things that parents think about when they entertain thoughts of having children is whether or not they can actually keep up with the demands of parenting. Although there are some people who do not think twice about procreating, most people think about everything else that comes after the kids are born.
Building a family and raising children is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. To say that it requires tons of commitment and dedication is an understatement. You have to be willing to deal with everything that comes with growing up with your kids. This means addressing all their needs from birth to grave. Yes, your kids will always need you even when they could already stand on their own and have raised their own families. In all these, you have to be willing to give without expecting anything in return. You have to learn when to nurture and when to give them space to make their own decisions. Yet, when dire consequences happen because of bad decisions, you also have to be willing to offer your shoulders to cry on and your wisdom to push them forward.
During the time when they still cannot support themselves, you have to be able to provide for all their expenses. This time is called the critical years when your children are fully dependent on you. Ideally, they should be able to provide for themselves when they get out of school and secure gainful employment. Not all children, however, are able to enter the workforce right away. This makes it really important for you to prepare them early on. Teach them the value of money and earning money the honourable way. Teach them to manage their finances so that they will eventually be able to provide for their needs. Instilling financial discipline is part of the responsibilities of parenthood. Growing up with your kids also entails preparing them for the future and weaning them from your financial support at the right time.
Taking care of your children’s psycho-social needs is also part of growing up with your kids. You have to understand how they think, feel, and act in various situations and given certain challenges. Support them emotionally in everything they are going through without coddling them or overly protecting them. Remember that you are supposed to play the supporting role in your child’s life and not the starring role. Let him experience the ups and downs of life. But, take the time to prepare him physically, emotionally, and mentally for these experiences. When the time comes for you to let go, be generous enough to do so and give your child the gift of going through life with the assurance that you will be there through all his joys as well as all his sorrows.
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