Parenting: What’s Income Got to Do with It?

Raising kids takes money. No argument there. It’s wonderful to be able to afford health insurance and college, for instance. On the other hand, I raised three of the most awesome people in the world with very little income. Are you worried your lack of income will impact your kids’ future? That’s understandable. However, there are certain things that will impact them more. I realize that’s not a popular statement, these days. Still, it’s one I stand behind.

My kids grew up without a lot of fancy technology. That meant we spent a lot more time together than most families. It was the 80’s, so there wasn’t a lot of technology anyway. Still, while other people had cable TV, we opted for the few channels we didn’t have to pay for. We didn’t spend our evening glued to what my Dad referred to as the magic box. Instead, we played cards, board games and guess what else? We actually talked to each other and not just on commercial breaks.

We didn’t have a big house. In fact, most of the time, I slept on the couch so the kids could have bedrooms. At one point we all lived in a huge apartment with no bedrooms at all. That was right after I left my abusive ex. Honestly, my kids were so glad to be living in a peaceful environment, I doubt if they cared about bedrooms. Some things are just more important than money when you’re raising kids.

My kids had security. That may sound a little strange to some people. After all, I just said we didn’t have much money. People often mistake money for security. Kids can be born with a silver spoon in their mouth and still not feel secure. My kids knew I would do whatever it took to give them what they needed. Whether it meant working three jobs or sucking it up and applying for assistance when I had no other choice, I was always there for them. I did what I had to do.

There was no facebook then, but we had a network. We had good friends and relatives that helped us through the rough spots. What’s more, when the roles were reversed, we did our part to help them. My kids learned the importance of having other people in their lives. It takes a village to raise a child and we had some awesome neighbors in ours.

My kids learned to value the simple things. A treat was really a treat because I couldn’t afford to get treats every day. They weren’t spoiled or pampered by any means. So when something fortunate happened, they appreciated it. When it didn’t, they knew how to entertain themselves without it. What’s income got to do with good parenting? Turns out, not a whole lot.

More from Jaipi:

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Parenting in the Kitchen: Life Lessons and Laughter

Parenting by the Book