Raising a child when you’re barely making ends meet could feel like a punishment rather than a blessing. But despite the hardships, look at this from a positive perspective. You are allowed to raise a life. It’s a big responsibility, but it also gives more meaning to your life.
Most parents would want the best for their children. It is a pity, however, when this is interpreted as material comforts. There are parenting methods that make children materialistic, but these could be avoided by knowing how to discipline your child without using material rewards.
Raising a child does not need to be excessively about material gifts, although we depend on these to express our emotions. What are important is how your child would feel and think while growing up. These will eventually make the person they will be in the future.
Growing up comfortably
Being comfortable does not necessarily mean a luxurious life. It simply means the child is not under any physical or emotional distress.
Still not the size of an adult, it would be difficult for a child to navigate a home set up for adults. Everything is high, big, and out of reach. Children could find it difficult to do even basic things on their own like going to the toilet or getting some food. Families sometimes remodel their bathrooms so that there could be toilet bowl and sink appropriate for the kid’s size. But if you can’t afford it, at least make sure that your child could reach these two essentials without problems. Provide a short but wide wooden stool that your child can use. But make sure that your toilet floor near the sink or bowl has a rubber mat so that the stool would not slip.
The kitchen could be dangerous if children can access everything freely. Especially when they are at an exploratory stage, they might want to try cooking, chopping up food when there’s no adult to deter them. You can make this area strictly for adults. If you are working and you expect your child to come home before you, you could leave some snacks or meals on the dining table so that the child could eat without difficulties.
You might be juggling two or three jobs in a day just to put food on the table, so you don’t have enough time for your children. What is important is that your children understand why you are absent most of the time. If your work allows it, take them with you once or twice.
Trust your children. Allow them to spend time with their friends even when you’re not there to supervise them. But of course, you must also know their friends well enough to entrust your children with them. If your children feel this trust, they will reciprocate.
Providing proper nutrition
Food should be nutritious. Rather than feeding your child with processed or instant food, cook vegetables. It is easy to grow some vegetables at home. If you don’t have the space for a backyard garden, you could grow them in containers. Encourage your children to adopt this hobby too. It would be easier to make them eat what they grow.
As working parents, you might not have time to do work at home. Many parents teach their children early how to cook food. But as has been mentioned, the kitchen could be dangerous for unsupervised children. However, if they are properly trained, they could make simple dishes on their own. Spend your free time teaching them how to prepare their meals safely. Try to prepare the ingredients ahead, so they don’t have to handle the knife at a very young age.
Building their values
Children are easily influenced by what they perceive. If their parents are not around that much to teach them proper manners and values, they would easily learn from their peers or the adults they often encounter. Encourage them to volunteer for community service so that they will be around people from whom they could learn empathy and kindness. Volunteering will also give them a sense of belonging to society to not rely too much on their peers for confidence or self-affirmation.
A child’s upbringing always starts at home. Although some parents would argue that their children spend more time at school and with friends, parents are the ones who make decisions for them during their younger years. Naturally, they depend on you. You pick their school and have control over what activities you allow your children to do. Don’t worry too much if you couldn’t provide them with expensive things. They need to see that you’re doing your best to provide for them so that they could grow into respectable adults.