Tom Peters, “one of the most influential business thinkers of all time” suggests in his tome, Re-imagine!” that: “Moving up the value chain means offering something more. It means emphasizing the Soft Attributes of “products” and “services” – attributes such as convenience, warmth, companionship, beauty, trust and Being Seriously Cool. There is a word that sums up all those attributes: Experience.….It is the Essence of Life in the New Economy. Billions and billions of dollars are at stake.” A recent study by AMP and The University of Canberra, found the cost of raising two kids in Australia for a family on a middle income will set you back $812,000, That is $406,000 per child! Assuming the cost of raising a child continues until age 21, this equates to approximately $2.21 per hour for this Experience. You might think the best financial advice is to forgo children.
Actually, it may just the opposite? I remembered an email I received some time ago, I undertook some editing, some quick calculations, and allow you compare the “experience” of raising a child with other modern experiences, including: Experience Approximate Cost/hour Hire Tom Peters for speaking engagement $37,500 Climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge $105 Dinner for two at Otto, Woolloomooloo $125 Making love for the first time $270,000 Flying economy to London (one way) $64 Getting married (i.e. the ceremony and function only) $3,250 2015 World Cup Rugby Final A Grade Seat (ticket only) $960 Seeing La Traviata at the Opera House (ticket only) $150 Raising a child $2.20 For $2.20 per hour you may receive the following experiences: Naming rights (first, middle, and last!); giggles under the covers every night; more love than your heart can hold; butterfly kisses and velcro hugs; endless wonder over rocks, worms, clouds, and chicken salt; a hand to hold, usually coated beyond your imagination; a partner for blowing bubbles, watching the rugby and cricket; and someone to Tell “Dad jokes” to, and laugh yourself silly with, no matter how bad your day.
You get to finger-paint, build sand castles, play hide-and-seek and farm sets, attend pre-school Christmas concerts and never stop believing in Santa Claus. You have an excuse to read Harry Potter; watch “Blue Water High” on Sunday mornings and go to great movies like the Shrek. You get to frame rainbows, countless tractors (I think they are anyway), hearts, flowers and photos under refrigerator magnets; laminated hand prints for Mother’s Day, and cards with backward letters for Father’s Day. You get to be a hero just for retrieving the footy off the roof, turning the hose on for the sand pit, taking the training wheels off a bike, helping dress Barbie, removing a splinter, filling a wading pool and coaching a soccer team that never wins but always gets a sausage sandwich and lemonade regardless.
You get a front row seat to history to witness the first step, first word, first bra, first date, and first time behind the wheel – 120 hours of learner driving beats any roller coaster experience. You probably won’t see the first beer, but will likely help heal the first hangover. You get an education in psychology, dietary needs, nursing, rational thinking, criminal justice, communication & negotiation skills, and human sexuality that no university can match; and you usually learn a new vocabulary (sick eh!). In the eyes of a child, you are God like, right up there with One Direction, Lizzie McGuire, John Eels, and Anthony the blue Wiggle. You have all the power to scare away the monsters under the bed, patch a broken heart, police a slumber party, answer home work questions (up to year 6 only), confirm the ref got it wrong, cancel this week’s pocket money, ground them forever, and love them without limits.
One day, like you, they will love without counting the cost. Based on detailed analysis, the value for money experience of raising a child exceeds all comparisons. Peter Debus is know locally as “Virginia’s husband”, Charlie, Emma & James’ Dad the registered owner of Toby the hound and on occasions a director of PrincipleFocus (NSW).