Children – Can You Really Afford To Have Any?

LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 08:  (L-R) Actor Ja...

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Children – Can You Really Afford To Have Any?

There are arguments both for and against having children, and I should know, I was one myself for starters, and now I’ve got the dubious task of raising some of my very own. We’re always being told how expensive it is to have children, and I’m not just talking about paying for diapers and decorating the nursery, not even the football boots and music lessons, I’m talking about the whole 9 yards / 21 years (allegedly) before they become self sufficient. So I got to thinking that everything else in life has a job to do, so why can’t kids pay their own way from a much earlier age.

Let’s look at a few examples:

Pets – they all have their job to do in our house, although some of them definitely didn’t read the job descriptions before getting their feet firmly under the table. I have one dog who was supposed to be a “ratter” and keep the vermin population down, not that we’re over-run but you know, everybody needs their role in society. Anyway, it turns out that mice are not her strong point but digging holes in the garden is . . . at no point in the contract did it ever say anything about gardening. Dog number two, invited to join the family for the express purpose of scaring potential burglars, yes, a guard dog . . . not a door mat or a throw rug. You spend the majority of your time striding over it while going to the gate to see who rang the bell!

Anyway, let’s get back to the children. Can they really expect to live in your house, eat your food and have their clothes, transport and allowance provided whilst providing nothing in return? I believe that there are  laws against putting them up chimneys but there must be another way . . .

  • Lemonade stalls – are one answer. Let the neighbors marvel at their entrepreneurial spirit and buy a lovely cup of thirst quenching lemonade from your angelic offspring. They don’t need to know that they’re working on a strictly commission only basis do they.
  • Garage sales – are a great way for kids to clear out their outgrown toys and make a little pocket money – wrong! Well, the first part is right, but again, after you’ve charged them for the storage of their outgrown toys for the past 5 years, there might not be much pocket money left.
  • Hiring them out for leaf sweeping / grass cutting / plant watering / dog walking / car washing is another great way to help your kids pay their way, it’s not mean, it’s giving them a sense of independence and self worth. You don’t get out for nowt, not in this world.
  • Hand me down clothes – should definitely make a come back, after all, children do have the habit of growing so fast that they can’t possibly expect to have brand new clothes every 3 or 4 months . . can they?  If this is going to cause a problem when your 13 year old girl downright refuses to wear her brothers outgrown soccer boots (but Mom it’s a dance class) then go for the next best thing and be sure to buy everything with plenty of room to grow into it. That should help.

Of course, if you can swing it and happen to produce an exceptionally talented child (or be in a position to put them firmly in the spotlight)  then you’re home dry. Just take your lead from Will Smith and Jada, they seem to have it right don’t you think?  Pushy parents, I don’t know what on earth you’re talking about. It’s just helping them to make the most of their opportunities. And while we’re thinking about kids in the spotlight (or kids and moms in the spotlight), why have one child when you can have a whole litter of 8 all at once without so much as a Dad to take his turn at the night feeds, that’s a sure fire way to get your “15 minutes of fame” don’t you think?  Come on kids, it’s payback time!

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