What price would you put on your children? Priceless? Dare I say, worthless? Surely they are of at least some value. When listening to our culture, one hears a mixed bag of responses to this question.
I heard just last week about two young boys in the Memphis area who were found in a neighbor's front yard a block away from their house. Being so young, they were lost, whimpering, and unable to direct themselves home. Upon calling the police, a search ensued for the appropriate home which was ended an hour and a half later as police returned the young, cold, underdressed boys to their mother who showed no signs of having cared about their missing status. She simply opened the door, allowed the boys to enter, and closed it as quickly as it opened. No "thank you..." no "I was so worried..." Nothing.
An article by John Cloud on Time Magazine’s Healthland website states many disconcerting thoughts. Here are a few examples:
- “Some economists have argued that having kids is an economically silly investment; after all, it’s cheaper to hire end-of-life care than to raise a child. Now comes new research showing that having kids is not only financially foolish but that kids literally make parents delusional.”
- “Couples who choose not to have kids also have better, more satisfying marriages than couples who have kids.”
- Richard Eibach and Steven Mock recently conducted research to test the “hypothesis that ‘idealizing the emotional rewards of parenting helps parents to rationalize the financial costs of raising children’.”
- Parents “idealize parenting” for “the same reason you keep spending money to fix up an old car when it just doesn’t work…”
- Researchers have now created “a new cultural model of childhood that [one researcher] aptly dubbed ‘the economically worthless but emotionally priceless child’.”
The conclusion is that children truly have no intrinsic value; parents simply persuade themselves that children have worth because they want an emotional connection, but they are foolish in that persuasion, because children actually bring less satisfaction than anticipated.
Ultimately, this article points readers in a completely selfish trajectory, attempting to point out that children bring too much of a burden to justify the expectation of profit.