What is a parent's return on investment?


Chicago Parent staff


walterPosted by Walter B.


Attempting to calculate the cost of raising a child is like trying to figure out how many jelly beans it takes to fill the bath tub! The latest and greatest formula, super duper diapers with pictures of their favorite cartoon character (good luck if that one is out of stock), designer baby clothes and the multiplying occurrence of every size, shape, color and purpose of plastic stuff that will block every doorway and fill every room in the house - it all adds up.

The newest government study put the cost of raising a child to the age of 17 at more than $220,000. As a concerned investor of such a sizable chunk of money, a parent might ask: What's the return on that investment?

At last count here are just a few of the dividends: Endless tiny treasures like framed crayon rainbows and scribbles custom-made just for you. Tiny clay pots made at school with your daughter because you dared to take an afternoon off from work. Dolphin-like shrieks of sheer joy as you huff and puff your way through marathon piggyback rides.

The privilege of throwing a football to a future star athlete until your arm is ready to fall off. Shivering in the ice rink stands before the rooster crows. You also receive the honor of getting muddy shoes as you get to wear a Yankees cap and T-shirt with the word "Coach" written on back. And let's not forget that unforgettable moment when your little one says "Daddy, I love you".

What's the parental return on this investment? A lifetime of love, care and respect that, hopefully, works both ways. When you add up the balance sheet, this book value is priceless.


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