Tough decisions

Ryan Modafe

June 14, 2024

The choice to have children is a tough decision. It ultimately decides a major aspect of the rest of people’s lives. A child must have proper support financially, physically, and emotionally. They do not need to be expected to pay for their education as a child. However, after the age of 18, when a child becomes an adult, they must learn to lead their life, pave their own path, and become independent. At this same age, the question of college becomes a big concern. Where to go, what to do, and very importantly: how to pay? An increasingly significant issue in attaining a higher education has become cost, and for teens, many of which do not possess the financial power to fund themselves, parental roles come into question. 

While there are advantages to both paying for a child’s college costs vs. partially supporting them, it’s critical to revisit parental responsibilities. They are there to ensure a child receives basic human necessities and nurture its capabilities to become a valuable and effective member of society. When discussing parents with the resources, it may seem that paying for their child’s college costs is a no-brainer. But, there is no clear-cut answer. Holding off part of tuition may be a better choice in some cases when considering other factors. 

First, children transitioning to adults need to become financially independent. If mom and dad are paying for everything from 18 years old up through graduate school, by the time the child is severed from payments, they will not have developed the necessary skills needed to be able to support a life in the real world sustainably. Without earning anything their whole lives, without any real world struggle, these people will not be effective members in society and will lack proper understanding of the value of money. Such a hole in understanding is extremely detrimental because it lays a trap that can ruin lives for decades to come, all because of an inability to think carefully. 

Additionally, when students in college aren’t paying with their own money, there is no fear of failing. They have the financial support so there is less of an incentive to excel and make the most out of their college years. This is much more apparent when discussing major selections, as many tend to either disregard the importance of selecting a proper college major or do not find any burden to make them commit to their path. The need to pay for your own bills, not afford a screw up, and strong discipline only come with stakes at hand. When there is nothing to be lost personally, there is always a lower incentive for achievement and ultimately fosters a wasteful mentality. All of this of course comes as a loss to parents, who in many cases become financially burdened themselves as a result of careless children.

While children may be the world to parents, it is their duty to prepare them for their futures and as such it’s important to consider that sometimes this means holding back for the greater good. It’s always going to be a tough decision.