Happy Father’s Day: The Benefits of Being a Parent Can’t Be Measured

It’s true that the benefits of a parent cannot be measured or quantified in any meaningful way. It’s hard to put a price on the emotional commitment and special experience of raising a child as a parent, some of which may not even be realized by the parents themselves until afterwards. But it is undeniable that the experience of parenthood is a rewarding and special time in someone’s life.

An icon illustrating a parent and child

An icon illustrating a parent and child (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For one thing, being a parent can you relive your childhood through your child. There are very few experiences in the world that are as intimate and vicarious as a parent who is raising their newborn child into an adult. Your child’s experiences become your experiences, their safety and learning becomes your priorities, and their success, ultimately, become your own success as a parent. You can rediscover the parts of your childhood that you may even have forgot as your child experiences them for the first time.
As a parent, you are also the center of the world for your child. This can be a tremendous source of self-confidence as well as incentive for self-improvement, to know that another human being sees you as their ultimate role model and will grow up in your footsteps. Just imagine the sense of wonder and awe with which you regarded your own parents when you were a child, and apply them to your child. That is the way they will see the world for a long time, with a constant sense of amazement and curiosity. The mundane becomes extraordinary and fantastic to a child, and a parent is part of the magic and the child’s discovery of the world.
In addition, parenting is a rewarding experience because you involved in the creation of a life and the raising of your child with your partner. There is a great amount of pressure, but also a sense of pride as your child’s characteristics and worldview will, in a large part, be derived from your interaction and education of them. All the things that you wish you had done in your childhood, or wish you had experienced or learned about earlier. These are all things that you can teach your child. As a parent, you are your child’s most important friend, teacher and role model. That is a tremendous source of empowerment and responsibility. But the reward you can get out of being a great parent is a new life in the world that you shaped with your words and actions. What you teach them becomes their most important life lessons, and your actions as a role model becomes the standard by which they live the rest of their lives.
So yes, the benefits of being a parent cannot be measured in conventional terms. But these benefits can definitely outweigh any worldly possession or unit of valuation. Parenthood is an emotional, spiritual, intellectual and educational experience that very few other experiences in the world can replace or even come close to imitating.
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