Everyone’s heard about the benefits of raising children. Research has proven that children who grow up in loving homes have higher levels of physical, emotional and social health throughout their lives. Research also shows that children who are raised in poverty are more likely to suffer from mental illness and learn less than their more affluent counterparts. Having children is a major responsibility, and many families sacrifice a great deal to nurture and protect their little ones.
I am a former foster parent, and I saw up-close the struggles that some children face before and after they leave the system. A number of the children who came through my home were neglected by their birth families, or were removed at a young age due to neglect. Others were abused and neglected in their homes before coming into the foster system.
I think most of us can agree that having children is a big responsibility. I would like to stress that children can also teach us valuable life lessons. I’ve learned a lot of lessons over the years through the constant responsibility and pressure of parenting. I have been a foster parent to 10 children and currently have two biological sons.
Here are five lessons I’ve learned about being a parent that I would like to pass on to all of you.
1. Learning to Manage Finances Is a Must.
Raising children is not cheap. You must learn to manage your finances, otherwise you can expect your savings account to be empty and your credit score to plummet if you fail to pay the bills. This can entail some interesting and creative ways of handling money, such as registering on new online casinos to take advantage of signup and other promotional bonuses, if of course that is indeed pastime of yours.
2. Never In a Million Years Do You Want to Dress Them Up and Take Pictures.
It’s not fun to take all of the kids to the park and take pictures, especially when they want to run off while you try to get the best shot. Plus, I don’t have a digital camera, so I will never get the pictures back that I would’ve gotten if I’d gotten one.
3. Don’t Get Tired of the Constant “Tiringness” of Parenting.
Children can also wear you out. As the saying goes, “the days are long, but the years are short.” And there’s a reason for that. They grow up so fast. The days and the years fly by. My daughter is 8 now, and I miss her so much when I’m not with her.
4. Unconditional Love Is a Powerful Tool.
You can learn to love unconditionally. Love is a wonderful thing to give, but it’s important to keep your boundaries intact as a parent. Children can read people and expect a certain level of respect. If they don’t get what they want when they want it, you will notice that they get angry or frustrated. This is when you must remain steadfast in your love and show them the love and kindness they deserve.
5. Stay Positive.
Parenting is an emotional roller coaster, and it’s important to keep a positive attitude while being a parent. Being positive will help you as a parent to keep your cool, and it will also help your child to stay positive as well.