Real estate is always considered an asset, even when you owe money on a loan for it.  The average home in our adjacent metropolitan area sells for $250,000.  I recently read an article that it costs about $250,000 to raise the average American kid these days.  If our kids cost us as much as our real estate, then we should treat them as assets, not  liabilities.

If you own your home, you treat it, and the contents, with respect.  When you purchase something new, you take care of it.  When things break, you fix them.  The average homeowner probably spends at least an hour a day, and one day out of the week, performing maintenance such as lawn mowing, house cleaning, minor repairs, all to keep the real estate in good condition.  Several times a year, major tasks need to be performed, or at least hired out – roof repair after storms, electrical problems, plumbing issues, deep cleaning, and tree trimming or other seasonal yard work.  If we spend the time it takes when the need arises, our asset not only stays in good shape, it increases in value.  Also, performing the work ourselves can be satisfying, and we can see the fruit of our labor over time.

The best investment in real estate is often a fixer-upper.  The adage of location, location, location is crucial when buying a dilapidated property.  If you can find just the right one, that matches your pre-set criteria, you can purchase it, invest your time and money, make necessary improvements, add your personal touches to make it special, and have a great property in the long run.  Many real estate investors flip properties – fix them quick, and sell them fast.  My husband and I have always lived for a long time in our properties, enjoying them all along the way, and relishing the results of our hard work for many years before we move on.

Kids are similar to real estate, except they are priceless and irreplaceable!   They are more than worth our daily investment of time and resources.  Our assets, our kids, will grow beyond measure if we take the time each day to:

  • engage a child individually in conversation, listening to their concerns and dreams
  • appropriately train our child, including guidance and discipline
  • give them positive eye and verbal contact
  • help them with school work and other personal obligations
  • provide for their needs – emotional, physical, and spiritual
  • make meal time and family time something to look forward to, especially at the beginning and end of each day

Seasonally, we need to invest more resources into our asset by planning:

  • Family vacations or special events where the whole family joins together, such as our week-long county fair
  • a special day, weekend, or event with one particular child, and one or both parents
  • birthday celebrations for each child when everything on that day is focused on him/her
  • Holiday traditions during Thanksgiving and Christmas which build strong bonds and memories

Our daily and seasonal efforts will surely increase the worth of our assets.  They invariably will take much of our precious time and resources.  We parents would probably rather devote our efforts to other things such as our personal pursuits or hobbies.  However, the sacrifices we make for our assets will be noticeable over time as our investment grows, and we see a return on our capital expenditure. 

Children are a blessing, and a heritage from the Lord.  Like the other talents He bestows upon us, we need to handle them wisely so the talent grows.  We need to be good stewards of our assets, for the glory of God.  Our children, especially our adopted children with their often overwhelming ‘issues’, once grown, will either be a liability to society, or an asset.  We need to do what it takes now, to ensure they are an asset, and a blessing, as they enter adulthood and start their own families.  The heritage we pass on to them of the importance of individual worth, and family as a support system, will bless many generations to come, thereby increasing our extended family’s overall assets immeasurably.