Parents Reveal The Single Most Underrated Advantage Of Having Children
Let’s face it: even on their best days, kids can be a piece of work. It’s easy to complain about the difficult job of being a parent! However, no matter how exhausting they may be, there are numerous wonderful benefits to raising children. The mental, physical, and emotional effects they have on your life can be astoundingly uplifting! The adventure of parenthood isn’t just a chance to produce an outstanding child– it can also change you for the better.
Loving, helping, learning, and being supported by your kids is an experience that is undeniably transformative. They can lift you up on difficult days, motivate you to remain curious about life, and restore your own childlike spirit! Relearning and redefining the world through the eyes of your kid is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. These grateful parents took to us to share some of the incredible advantages that come with raising a child!
#25 Becoming A Better Person
Mine is 16 months but watching him get excited about stuff is the highlight of my day.
Also, they’re super good at illustrating how other people see you because they imitate EVERYTHING you do. My son “works out” with me every day. He flexes in the mirror if he isn’t wearing a shirt because daddy did it. He has an old phone, which he stomped through the house yelling in it, waving his arms around and glaring….an hour after I got in an argument over the phone. I’m trying to model the behavior I WANT him to imitate. He makes me a better person.
#24 Priceless Restoration Of Wonder
Getting to see the world through a new set of eyes. You forget how exciting mundane things are to kids. They literally stop to smell the roses. Their face when they see bubbles for the first time or when they realize the reflection in the mirror is them is priceless. Walking down the sidewalk takes forever because they stop every two seconds to pick up a rock or a stick or to wave to each neighbor that they see. Having to share a room is something exciting, not something inconvenient. The magic of Christmas is back. Their faces when they come down the stairs to see the tree is burned in your brain even though they’ll disregard all of the toys for the bubble wrap and boxes. Watching them discover new things and develop their own interest is cool as they get older and start to form their own opinions and ideas separate from you.
#23 Epic Adult Friendships
A ton of great responses here—mostly about the benefits of when they are still kids. And I agree and relate to most of them, but there is something else that I really like about having a child who is now an adult.
We are friends. I like him. I mean, sure I still do dad stuff, give him advice about his career and talk about relationships, etc.— but sometimes we go to the pub and have a beer and just chit-chat. And you know, it turns out that he’s a really great person to hang around with.
I loved every stage of parenthood and was lucky to have a pretty amazing kid if I do say so myself. And now I’m enjoying a completely new phase. (And waiting for grandkids, but that might be a tough sell.)
#22 A Drive For Generosity
For me, it is the insane amount of love for your children and drive for self-improvement. Before having kids I severely lacked empathy for other people. Now there is a whole new world of emotion that has opened up for me. I put a lot more thought into how others feel and what I can do to help people. Kids have basically caused me to go from “I’m in this thing for myself” to “what can I do to make the world a better place”.
I also view angry people differently as well. I think about how they were once somebody’s little boy or girl, and perhaps they weren’t treated very well. The thought of that makes me sad and causes me to have some sympathy for them instead of just viewing them as mean.
#21 A Personal Hype-Man
My favorite part is having a little human that excited to see me. My dogs do it, too, but there’s something special about another person loving you that much.
Picking my kid up from daycare (15-19mo foster son) was the highlight of my day. He would see or hear me come in, drop whatever he was playing with, and crawl (then later run) over to me and kick his legs in the air as I picked him up. As he got a little older, as soon as I had him on my hip, he would start waving “bye” to his teachers, like, “OKAY MY MOM IS HERE BYYYYEEEEEE TIME TO GO HOME WITH HER!”
The last month we had him, he got this stupid grin where he’d put his top and bottom teeth together and pull his lips all the way back, then he’d breathe really fast through his teeth when he got super excited. Got that dumb smile every day at pick-up.
#20 Live-In Labor
Chores. Hands down chores. Daddy needs a break. He’s tired.
#19 Keeping Up With Pop-Culture (And Throwing It Back)
I know a ton of new pop culture references, and I get to impose mine on him.
Our particular genres of nerding out are music and movies. My kiddo can sing along to Nirvana, RHCP, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and others as well as most current stuff. I love showing him movies from when I was a kid, and most of the cool movies that have come out in the last few years.
#18 Ducking Out Of Gatherings
Built-in excuse to leave social gatherings. “Timmy needs his nap, gotta go!”
#17 Watching Them Grow Into Awe-Inspiring Individuals
Watching a creature you brought into this world, learn, grow, adapt and become a fully functioning human being that you’re proud to be around.
There are plenty of disadvantages but when you see a kid put in the time and effort for something they want and get rewarded because they work hard are a good kid, etc…. Man, that stuff is awesome.
#16 Repairing Broken Family Bonds
This might sound like a stereotype but all of the love and fun a kid brings to your life is just the best. Parenting can be hard/annoying but overall it’s sweet and full of fun, sweet and hilarious moments.
I also feel like it’s been so good for my husband, our parents, and siblings. My son made us all closer and it’s been so awesome to watch the relationships with him develop. I wasn’t that close with my mom (she wasn’t the best parent) but she’s been an awesome grandmother and I feel like that transcends some old issues.
#15 Side-Splitting Practical Jokes
Practical jokes from kids are hilarious. I got my daughters one of the Pringles cans with spring snakes inside. She went up to her grandpa and asked him if he’d like some chips, and I had told her if he said ‘no’ to ask her to open them for her.
He said, “Why thank you, sweetie.” Followed shortly by, “Jesus! Don’t do that anymore, you going to cause someone to stroke out!”
But the damage was done, they both do it to any guest they come across.
The point is, watching their humor and personalities evolve free of the hang-ups you have put on yourself is rewarding.
#14 Chowing Down On Childhood Snacks
Snacks, man. I’m 34 and I’ve got a pantry full of fruit snacks and Fruit By The Foot, and there’s always chocolate milk and string cheese in the fridge. If I didn’t have kids I’d feel weird or guilty about always keeping that stuff around.
There’s other stuff, like finding joy in weird little words they use, teaching them to do stuff that’s really cool, and watching them explore. Life’s just a lot more joyful because of them.
But the snacks. For real.
#13 An Unbelievably Deep Love
They teach you how not to take life for granted, and you’ll experience a love that you never knew/thought was possible. We’re not talking, “Oh I can’t imagine loving my dog/cat/significant other, more than anything else on this planet”. It’s truly a love unlike anything you’ll never know, or thought existed until you hold your baby in your arms. Or when they call you Mom or Dad, or the way that they run to you, and only you, when they need something or are hurt, or the way they look at you with adoring eyes, even when you have had a bad day. Do you give up a lot? Yes! However, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. This is coming from someone that had their first at 18. My oldest is 23, and my youngest is 15. I know, I lost my “childhood”, but I gained so much more, a purpose for living, appreciation for the small things in life, and a love, deeper and higher than you could ever imagine.
#12 Showered In Affection
I taught my daughters it’s important to say “I love you” and hug the people you love. Me and most people around me are now constantly showered with love.
#11 The Financial Victories
Child Tax Credit!
I have four kids. Thanks to the write-offs that come with tax credits, I’ll have a negative federal income tax rate for many years, as in, I’ll get a refund despite paying no federal income taxes.
#10 Motivation To Rediscover Life
Watching them see something for the first time that you’ve seen a million times. My son is 7 and his wowed by everything. From bugs to mundane medical stories. I explain medical things to him and he’ll ask simple questions I never thought of. Plus I was diagnosed with major depression, my kids have been a great motivation to keep on moving forward every day, having someone’s life depending on you is a great motivator to get out of bed. I didn’t know how strong I was until I had kids. They’ve also forced me to adapt to changes very fast. Also, don’t underestimate their intelligence. And when you are at the end of your rope, they do something so amazing.
#9 Board Game Buddy
I now have someone who consistently wants to play board games with me.
#8 Witnessing Their Talents
It is so much fun watching your kids get good at something. My son is a BMX rider and a guitar player. My daughter is a dancer. There’s so much joy in watching them progress.
#7 Busting Out Your Childhood Favorites
Getting to introduce your kids to all the stuff you loved as a kid. Showing my kids Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons, Transformers, Thundercats and all those Saturday morning cartoons was great.
We played Legos every day, read Dr. Suess books, colored in coloring books, went to the park and played on the swings and slides. It’s a lot of fun in between the melt-downs.
#6 Reinstituting Magic
The magic comes back.
Christmas. Easter. Halloween. The theme park. Playgrounds. Movies. Everything goes back to being magical and amazing.
#5 Lovingly Handmade Cards
Mine is kind of specific, but I love the handmade cards they make. From the messy, crayon & glitter glue, to the beautiful, well thought out drawings my oldest now makes, I love it. Every birthday and Mother’s Day I always tear up. This past Mother’s Day my two (16&7) paired up & made me a book, with pictures of all us, and handwritten pieces. I cried for an hour. I love it.
#4 Potty Praise
Getting told by your potty training toddler, “You’re peeing on the potty? Good job, Mama!” When was the last time someone praised you for peeing?
#3 Teasing Their Young Minds
You get to mess with them. When my twins turned four I told them about the tooth fairy. How she will place a curse on them if they are bad and their teeth will slowly fall out. God, I miss them at that age.
#2 Excitement Over “Embarrassing” Experiences
You get to do all sorts of fun stuff that adults are shamed for, including water slides, regular slides, swings, get excited about toy stores, and children’s museums.
#1 Conversations About Dinosaurs
Talking about Dinosaurs. No adult will ever walk up to you and ask you, “Hey, what’s your favourite dinosaur?”