Poverty and Parenting - Big Risk
A 38-year-old journalist at Mozambique News Agency
Having children is definitely everyone's right. But when the basic conditions needed to afford raising a child are not present, it becomes unfair to exercise this right, because of the implications. In my country, Mozambique, it is still pretty common to find couples who are still in their teens and early 20s raising children. The idea of an early marriage coupled with having a child in poverty is a burden and I am definitely against it. Most teenage or young parents lack the basic financial stability to ensure decent and consistent provisions to raise their children.
This common trend forces parents to raise their children in remote and rural areas or in urban slums that expose them to squalid conditions. In such cases, the parents end up denying their children's basic needs, thereby overshadowing the children's chances of attaining a brighter future. Financially deprived parents are often unable to pay attention to the importance of parental care. This results in children missing the lessons of personality development from their first teaching unit, which is the family. In my opinion, children raised in poverty are more likely to become social misfits even as adults.
The effects of raising children in poverty later becomes a socio-economic burden of the country, which has to increase social welfare programs to make up financially what the parents failed to provide. With this in mind, I delayed having children until later in life when I had completed university and was established financially.
I believe that in order to raise a child, a parent must have the financial means to provide adequate food, healthcare, and good education - from kindergarten through to university.
Money Not the Criterion
A 30-year-old executive in Beijing
As a new mother, I would like to say the thought of wanting to have or even raising a child should not be a burden to any woman. One shouldn't have to face criticism because of their low financial status if they want to have a child. Having a child comes with many responsibilities, but poverty should not deny anyone this chance.
There is often debate on whether or not it is irresponsible for those living in poverty to have a child or not. But how do we measure wealth? How much money must one accumulate in order to be regarded as wealthy and, moreover, wealthy enough to have a child? In my opinion wealth does not determine whether or not one should have a child. It does not guarantee a child's happiness or set the standard for good parenting.
All around the world, there are many cases of children who are raised in poor families and go on to excel in school and become influential role models in society. Many Chinese believe that children raised in financially deprived or poor families tend to deal with problems in their adult life far better than children who are raised by wealthy parents.
Money is not the greatest thing you can give a child. A child also needs love, security, care and an understanding of right and wrong. I believe that a child will be happier if they receive love and care from their parents, despite being poor, than they would be if they were brought up in a wealthy family that prioritized money and neglected love.
Lastly, poverty can never be guaranteed as permanent. A poor person can have a child today and that same child can be rich tomorrow. Likewise, the parents may start out poor but become rich in future. So either rich or poor, one should still be able to have a child.