You’ve probably heard the quote, “It takes a village to raise a child.” But where does this quote come from and what does it actually mean? Maybe you’re thinking about having children and wondering what it’s going to take, aside from the village. Maybe you already have children and want to know how to raise happy, healthy and successful kids. Whatever the case may be, read on to learn why and how it takes a village to raise a child.
Where does the quote, “it takes a village to raise a child” come from?
While the exact origin of the phrase is still unknown, we do have some pretty good guesses. “It takes a village to raise a child” is a proverb that is actually prevalent in a variety of African languages. In fact, it is so popular in African culture that nearly all African Languages use some variant of this phrase. For example, “One hand does not nurse a child” is a commonly stated proverb in the Bantu language, Swahili. Another example is “One knee does not bring up a child.” This is another phrase from East Africa, with origins in the Tanzanian language.
One reason these proverbs might be so popular in African languages, is due to the circumstances of African cultures. In Africa, child raising is not often limited to immediate family. It is not uncommon for a child rearing to take place by the extended family. Often, children spend months or even years with grandparents or even aunts and uncles. Additionally, most African communities are very involved in child rearing. This is probably due to the fact that in most African cultures, children are regarded as blessings from God, and meant to bless the entire community.
Another theory about this proverb, is that it originated from the bible. Harmony and self-sacrifice are recurring themes in the bible, and are prevalent in many verses. This type of view of the world is seen in various African cultures today, as exampled by their community upbringings. When this phrase is referenced in the United States, it often used to bring communities together. This may be on a neighborhood, church, city or even a national scale. Whatever the origins, the principal is the same. It takes a village to raise a child. Meaning, a team of people is needed for child rearing.
What does it take to raise a child?
So, what do you need to raise a child? Here are a few things:
Security. Kids need to know that they’re safe. They will need a home to live in, food to eat, clothing, access to medical care and protection from any harm.
Stability. A big part of having children and making them feel safe is stability. The ideal situation is loving parents that stay together. If this is impossible, and a split is necessary, then this must be done in a way that affects the child’s life as little as possible. Kids need access to extended family if possible, as well. They should feel a sense of belonging and actively participate in traditions and family culture.
Consistency. Consistency at home and in life. Parents should maintain consistent parenting techniques, avoiding confusion on the child’s part.
The ability to meet the child’s emotional needs. Kids need someone that they can trust, not someone that they fear. It’s a parent’s responsibility to create a space where a child’s self-esteem, self-respect and independence can grow.
Love. Children need to know that they are loved and cared for. Even when they make mistakes, be sure to always show your children that you love them, in spite of their mistakes.
Education. Children need access to the best possible education, to ensure they have the most opportunity for their future. Children will need access to school and also life lessons that you teach them through your time together.
Positive role models. You as a parent are the most important role model in your child’s life. Be the kind of person you want them to be, and they will become it. of person you want them to become.
Structure. Children need boundaries and rules. Make sure they have a structured environment to grow in.
How much money does it take to raise a child?
If you’re wondering what it takes to raise a child from a financial perspective, buckle up. Here’s a break down of the potential costs of having a child.
Delivering a Baby
The first thing to mention is this is not considering the costs of care before birth. Before birth, you’ll have costs like doctor visits, ultrasounds, blood tests and other care as necessary for the mother and baby. The costs of all that, plus the cost of the birth itself, vary widely depending on where you live. It also varies depending on whether or not you have health insurance.
Vaginal births are less costly than C-sections. When it comes to birth and money, the thing to know is that the more complications you have, the more expensive. In the end, whether or not you have a C-section or other complications is determined in the hospital, when a decision is made for the life and health of mother and baby. Complications are not all preventable, though regular checks with your doctor during pregnancy should help prevent some complications
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much birth costs, because it varies depending on the state you live in. If you are in a metropolitan or urban area, expect to pay more. When giving birth, expect to pay somewhere between $4000-$15000, depending on the state you live in, and health insurance, or lack thereof. The last thing to know is that if you have Medicaid, the birth should cost you very little or even nothing at all.
When the baby is finally here, there are more essentials you will need to buy. The good news is, you are likely to have family or friends with baby supplies who are willing to gift or sell at a lower price to you. Things like cribs, strollers and toys make great gifts. Be sure to start asking around and looking for supplies before you have the baby.
One thing not to get as a gift though, is car seats. Car seats continue to evolve to meet safety standards, and often have expiration dates. So, be careful of this when looking for a car seat.
Transporting the baby: If you don’t have any friends or family with a stroller, you’ll need to buy one. You can get an acceptable model at about $100 or so, though if you want a designer version it will cost closer to $100. Car seats can be anywhere from $50-$500.
A place for the baby to sleep: Babies spend a lot of time sleeping. This means they will spend a lot of time in their crib or bassinet, so you’ll want good ones. Cribs can range from $100-3,000 depending on the model. Bassinets are typically about $125 or so. Lastly if you want a cradle, you should budget about $100 for a nice one.
Feeding the baby: You can choose to either breastfeed your baby, or raise your baby on formula. Breastfeeding cuts costs, but is not an option for every woman. If your baby is raised on formula, expect to spend $70-$250 a month on formula depending on their age and which formula you buy. You’ll also need a high chair for eating, which will cost between $50-$450.
Toys: The types of toys can vary, but expect to spend $100-$200 on toys.
From Baby to Two-Year-Old
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, parents should expect to spend about $25000 dollars within the first two years of a baby’s life. This is for middle-income families. That’s about $1000 a month to keep your baby happy or healthy.
This seems like a very large amount, but this number factors in initial costs, like a larger vehicle or home. If you’re looking to save money then try to avoid large upgrades. This number includes housing, food, transportation, clothing and diapers, health and child care and other expenses like entertainment and books.
It’s important to remember that family and community help is available for low-income parents. Or parents who need a little help or want to save money. Never underestimate the savings you can have by getting hand-me-downs or discount items.
Expenses for Raising a Family
While it would be nice to have a concreted number, how much it costs to raise a family is dependent on a large variety of factors. How many children you have is one of those factors. Some costs of multiple children are shared, but they will still have individual needs, as well.
Additionally, where you live makes a difference. The cost of transportation, health care and housing is much lower in rural areas and much higher in urban areas on the whole. This makes it difficult to give a gross estimate of the costs.
One massive expense to consider when having a child though, is child care. Typically, childcare is nearly as much as a mortgage for most families. If one parent is able to stay home, this can greatly save on costs, thought may contribute to loss of income due to a one-income household. Whatever your situation may be, it is your job as a parent/potential parent to consider these costs and your ability to meet the needs of a child.
So, what’s the average costs from 0-18?
According to the USDA, most parents will spend about $230,000 on raising a child from birth to 18. This, again, varies depending on a number of factors. But it is a good general idea of cost. However, this does not include college tuition or future costs.
How hard is it to raise a child?
Raising children is difficult. It can be emotionally and financially draining. Parents will have to make sacrifices in all areas of their lives to ensure the happiness and health of their children. Just know that parenting is not a breeze or comedy-sketch on Television. It is dynamic, raw, difficult and at the same time, it is the most rewarding thing you can do in life.
If it takes a village to raise a child, is it worth it?
The answer to this, depends on you. What does it mean to you to raise a child? For most parents, the answer is yes. It’s worth all the sweat, blood and tears required in child rearing. There’s nothing more fulfilling than being a parent. To watch your child grow into the adult you helped them become. It will be incredibly difficult, and there will be days where you feel like giving up, but it will certainly be worth it. That is, if you have a desire in your hear to raise and love a child. The decision to raise a child should never be taken lightly.
If it takes a village to raise a child, how can I raise a successful child?
It takes a village to raise a child. Read that again. It takes a village to raise a child. You won’t be the only person in your child’s life, because it takes a village to raise a child. You will need members of your community, teachers, family and friends to help you. Additionally, you may need some parenting resources.
Fortunately, advancements in technology allow us access to all sorts of resources to help us learn to raise our kids. Through the use of free, online courses, you can find the best, proven, and up-to-date parenting techniques available. If you’re deciding to have a child, or already have on and need a little help, online courses can help you be the best parent possible.
There’s nothing more fulfilling and exciting than bringing a child into the world. Just make sure you have the resources and emotional capabilities to raise them in a happy, healthy, stable and secure home.