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I am terrified my child will grow up with the same traumas that I suffered - how, on a very limited income, well below the poverty line, can I assure my child gets the most positive life experience?

18 Answers
Last Updated: 07/20/2021 at 1:42am
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United States
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Tim Van Rheenen, M.A., LMFT

Marriage & Family Therapist

I will work to help you get unstuck. Together we will apply methodologies that work to find freedom from trauma, sexually addictive behaviors, and relational problems.

Top Rated Answers
March 14th, 2015 1:26am
By giving them unconditional love, I grew up with little money but also little love. You can do without the best toys and trainers. You cannot become emotionally stable without positive love no matter what they do. They will learn the value of money, hate they don't have the latest iPad but be able to look back and reflect on how much they were loved
April 16th, 2015 3:59am
Showing a child that you are working hard for them gives them the strength to go accomplish their dreams. I work with children and they don't worry about what they have in life to them it's all about embracing life and having fun. Smiling at a child can mean the world.
January 24th, 2015 9:54pm
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Anonymous - Expert in Parenting
April 30th, 2015 9:07pm
Material possessions do not define traumatic experiences if you don't let them. Showing your child affection is more beneficial than any object.
May 15th, 2015 6:51am
Read to your child...stories of heroes and artists and other admirable people...the library is a house of beauty and truth, especially when a parent reads aloud with love
May 27th, 2015 3:02pm
The most honest answer to this question is to just guide your child in the right direction. Its hard to think of our children growing up in the same environment that we grew up in, especially if it wasn't a pleasant situation. Just try to not make the same mistakes that were made when you grew up and guide your child to the right way to live. Unfortunately we cant make everything perfect as to us being human we all make mistakes, but we can always do the best that we can. As long as you put the effort in then you can always remember you did the best you can.
June 4th, 2015 6:03pm
You are aware of your own traumas and work through it so you won't pass on anything abusive onto your child. And you do the best you can, being loving and considerate and if you work hard doing that then there's a good chance things will work out.
June 6th, 2015 11:56am
Traditions are very important, and cannot be bought with money. It will take some creativity, of course, but it can be done. We were not in poverty, but with 7 children and one income, we struggled from paycheck to paycheck. But our kids are all wonderful, productive adults. We played games together, both active and nonactive. We went to church together. We ate meals together. We spent time with extended family - picnics, birthday parties, etc. Togetherness and sharing fun are key.
June 7th, 2015 1:51am
Income has it's own importance for sustaining such as eating, clothes etc, but to assure your child has a positive life experience, having a constant support system, understanding and "safe-zone" is truly important. Having materialistic things in life means nothing when a child doesn't have the comfort of a "Home". You can never go wrong trying your best always and making sure you're always there for your children. Love is key.
July 20th, 2015 7:41am
Life isn't always about money. My mother didn't have much, but I was happy a lot because of the love she showed in other ways. Be close with your child, be a parent and a best friend, let them know they are important and loved, listen to them, and make them see that they are only as poor as they choose to be. You can be rich with love, companionship, happiness, among other things. I hope you give yourself credit for the things you do right, the love of a parent is extraordinary.
September 22nd, 2015 9:20am
By being patient, loving and kind. Talk to them about positives and the negatives in life so they can be prepared. Teach them to appreciate a roof to sleep under, bed to sleep in, clothes, food. Point out on that not all are so lucky. Also teach them secondhand is recycling which is a good thing for the planet and you and they are doing your part by doing that. It is amazing what you can find secondhand that is new or as new. Let them know love, appreciation and kindness are the most important of all things to attain.
December 7th, 2015 6:11pm
send them to school. tell them how important education is. try your best to make sure that they get as much knowledge as they possibly can.
January 26th, 2016 9:47pm
I think the best things in life are free, I believe that if even if you don't have much, a child will still look up to you, your their parent, and as long you are there for them and support them, they're going to have a good life. Show them the little things in life, they b bring do much joy.
April 5th, 2016 8:58am
Always remember to tell your child that you want better for them and that they should work hard to be better then you. Tell them what are your dreams for them and why you have such a dream for them.
June 13th, 2016 1:29pm
This is something that has terrified me ever since I found out I was pregnant with my now 7 year old son. It can be hard to focus on positives when you are constantly having to worry about money, and how you can afford this and that etc, the bare basic minimums to survive. The best things that I have found in my experience is the basic spending time with my child. We spend time drawing pictures and telling stories around them, playing games around the house and doing simple things like household chores can become fun activities together. It's not the money we spend on them that they remember when they grow up, it's the fun they had with the people who loved them the most to spend the time with them. My son might not have all the flashy gadgets and gizmos that all the kids seem to have these days, he might not go on fancy holidays or wear brand name clothes, but he is a happy little man, who loves nothing more than playing in the garden and making up stories, cuddles with mummy and general just having lots of laughs. This might not have answered your question but I wanted you to know that it's not the money that makes a happy childhood ... it's the love and attention you give them that the thrive on.
April 10th, 2018 9:01am
Time is worth so much more to a child than money, be there for your child, listen to them, teach them how to cope with emotions, love and understand them and most importantly, teach them that sharing their thoughts and feelings with you is a safe and rewarding experience for all.
May 3rd, 2021 10:21am
I am so sorry to hear of this situation, being on a restricted income may seem like a hurdle, but it can be overcome. It sounds like from what you're saying is your experience has created a path for you to nurture your child in a very different way. Some people create a list of goals, needs, wants and avoid. Slowly they reach out to various solutions, sometimes through friends or family consultations, should they have a trustworthy person to turn to. In the last people used to connect with local community groups/church/religious groups, but these days there are some reservations because of possible deterring past experiences. If you are in a country that promotes the welfare of children like the UK, your local council page will have a list of groups for children and parenting classes for free. If you have to take matters into your own hands, perhaps a visit to the local library, approved charities and social media groups may share resources for free. It would also be worthwhile to check out local homeschool groups as these parents have already paired up and worked along a state approved program with other parents, and experience can go a long ways. It could be a good idea to look at websites like GoZen that are particularly for children or Dr Phil's website which already has links to child psychology and social centres with approved and qualified individuals. There Is also a website called free PDF which has free PDF books on parenting and working away from traumatic experiences, so you can possibly identify your triggers and work through them in your own time. It may be worth looking into free counseling websites, which have increased due to the pandemic and possibly reaching out to your child's school to see if they can share some important and useful contacts. Good luck on your journey and do keep us all in your thoughts.
July 20th, 2021 1:42am
Be around for them, I don't know who you are or what you've gone through in life, but please, be around for them. Show up to everything you can, if they're having a basketball game, show up, if they're having a graduation ceremony, show up. Don't smother them with love because that'll scare a lot of kids, but if they're doing something important be there-. I have seen so many kids with rich parents be so so so upset because they just want there parents to be there. They don't care about money, all they want is their parental figures to see their accomplishments in life and be proud of them.